Preexisting Management Plan Not A “Mitigation Measure” For Purposes Of CEQA Exemption

by James Rusk and Micah D. Bobo : mondaq – excerpt

A preexisting management plan intended to minimize environmental effects of recurring facility operations and events is not a “proposed mitigation measure” for purposes of determining whether an event qualifies for a CEQA categorical exemption, a state Court of Appeal has held.  In Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. California, the Court of Appeal upheld the exemption of a rodeo from CEQA review under the “normal operations of existing facilities for public gatherings” exemption established by the CEQA Guidelines.  2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 283, 19 (Cal. App. 3d Dist. Mar. 26, 2014).  The court rejected appellant’s arguments that the host fairgrounds’ Manure Management Plan (MMP), intended to prevent livestock fecal runoff entering a creek, was a proposed mitigation measure that the local agency improperly considered in assessing the effects of the rodeo.  The court focused on the fact that the plan predated the proposal of the rodeo (albeit by only a few months) and would apply to all similar events at the fairground.  The court also clarified the application of the “unusual circumstances” exception to categorical exemptions… (more)

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