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Title: 12 - Roads, Parks and Waterways

Chapter: 02 - Establishment of a Consultation and Environmental Review Process

Section: 40 - Criteria and Procedures


A.  In order to achieve the objectives expressed in Chapter 12.02.030 above, the following procedures shall apply to all projects involving state or federal agencies:

    1.  Interagency agreements are necessary to a coordinated process of environmental review. Such agreements shall  include the development of a system of timely notification to the county of all agency actions, plans, programs and projects which have the potential to affect the local environment or economy. An interagency agreement which proposes to comprehensively address the goals and objectives of this ordinance may be utilized as an alternative to the procedures established herein upon notification to and acceptance by the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors.

    2.  Consistent with the obligations of the proponent agency to coordinate and consult with the county government, an Initial Assessment Report (IAR) or an Initial Study or Environmental Assessment shall be prepared whenever there is an indication that the plan, program, or project of the agency may have an adverse impact on the environment. State and federal agencies will work with the county to consider the social, economic, environmental, and other impacts of federal and state decisions on the local economy, citizens, and the environment. Consistent with NEPA, such consideration should also include mitigation measures. If an IAR is necessary, the IAR may be included as a separately titled component of other written environmental assessments required under NEPA and CEQA, provided that all other requirements of this ordinance are met. The IAR shall include (a) a description of the plan, program, or project (b) the environmental setting (c) an assessment of potential economic and/or environmental impacts (d) a description of mitigation measures proposed to reduce or eliminate economic and/or environmental impacts and (e) the consistency of the plan, program or project presents no significant economic and/or environmental impacts.

    3.  Based on conclusions and findings contained in the IAR or the Initial Study or the Environmental Assessment and such other data as may be necessary to a determination, the Board of Supervisors and the federal or state proponent agency shall, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the IAR, jointly determine whether to conduct a Coordinated Environmental Review and Assessment (CERA) or find that the plan, program, or project presents no significant economic and/or environmental impacts.

    4.  If the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and the proponent agency determine to conduct a CERA, it shall be prepared as a written report by the proponent agency and submitted to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors. To avoid redundancy, the CERA may be included as a separately titled component of other written environmental assessments, statements, or reports required under NEPA and CEQA. Discussion and analysis should include relevant impacts of the plan, program, or project.

B.  Impacts on county natural resources and environmental quality including:

    1.  Impacts on forest and timber resources.

    2.  Impacts on range or dry land crops.

    3.  Impacts on watershed resources.

    4.  Impacts on private surface and groundwater rights and irrigated cropland.

    5.  Impacts on air, water (including surface and groundwater), energy and soils.

    6.  Impacts on integrated resource planning and management in which the county, private parties, and/or other public agencies are involved.

    7.  Impacts on multiple use, sustained yield, and range resource laws and regulations.

    8.  Impacts on private investment in public land and resources.

    9.  Impacts on the production and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment, stimulation of the health and welfare of man, and support of diversity and variety of individual choice as assured under NEPA.

    10. Impacts on hunting, fishing, and all other outdoor recreation, including ingress and egress on public lands.

    11. Impacts on mining, gravel extraction, minerals, and/or rock pits.

    12. Impacts on livestock production and related industries.

    13. Impacts on tribal culture sites.

    14. Impacts on wildlife and fish resources.

C.  Impacts on county society, custom and culture, governance, schools, and other local public services, including:

    1.  Impacts on culture due to population loss.

    2.  Impacts from proposed or foreseeable limitations or restrictions on cultural and community cohesion and kinship.

    3.  Impacts on cultural and community aesthetics, including historical natural resource vistas, river ways, and landscapes.

    4.  Impacts on the ability of local government to protect the health, safety, social, and cultural well being of its citizens.

    5.  Impacts on the ability of local government to promote local environmental values, resource protection, and development.

    6.  Impacts on the ability of local government to finance local public programs and services through bonding, lending, and other financing mechanisms.

    7.  Identification of tax revenue loss to local government and schools.

    8.  Impacts from identified tax revenue loss on the ability of local governments and schools to deliver public services.

    9.  Impacts on local emergency medical services, law enforcement, fire protection, and nuisance abatement.

    10. Impacts on local government infrastructure, including transportation, public community systems, including those provided through irrigation and reclamation districts, and landfill services.

    11. Cumulative and long term impacts on local community stability and well being.

D.  Impacts on local economy, customs, services, and businesses, including:

    1.  Impacts on private, investment backed expectation.

    2.  Impacts on the economic value of privately held water rights and real property.

    3.  Direct and cumulative impacts on employment and wages.

    4.  Direct and cumulative impacts on agriculture and related industries.

    5.  Direct and cumulative impacts on local retail and service industries.

    6.  Impacts on housing and related residential services such as water, sewer, sanitation, and energy.

    7.  Impacts on thresholds for business demand and markets.

    8.  Direct and cumulative impacts on community stability and well being related to private ability to maintain current and future debt service.

    9.  Direct and cumulative impacts on the commercial fishing industry and related services industry.

E.  Private Property Takings Implication Assessment. The CERA shall identify and assess impacts of the plan, program, or project on private property rights in the county utilizing the criteria established in Presidential Executive Order 12630, entitled "Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights," Supreme Court guidelines and the Attorney General\\\'s guidelines, entitled "Evaluation of Risks and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings." In addition, this component of the CERA shall include discussion and analysis of the following:

    1.  Whether the plan, program, or project constitutes an actual physical intrusion or actual taking of private property.

    2.  Potential for loss of economic value or investment backed expectation.

    3.  Related impacts on custom and culture.

    4.  Whether the agency action conforms to constitutionally protected property rights and commonly accepted notions of fairness and due process.

F.  Mitigation. For the purposes of this component of the CERA it is the policy of the County of Del Norte that public agencies should not approve plans, programs, or projects as proposed if feasible alternatives or mitigation measures exist which would, if implemented, reduce or eliminate significant impacts on the environment and economy, as defined in paragraph 2, chapter 12.02.030 of this ordinance. County proposed mitigation measures would be considered and analyzed as one of the "feasible alternatives" required by CEQA and NEPA. As relevant to the goals of the plan, program, or project, proposed mitigation measures should:

    1.  Identify each impact which the mitigation measure is intended to address.

    2.  Identify the party or agency responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the proposed mitigation measure.

    3.  Specify, for each mitigation alternative, (a) how impacts may be avoided by not taking the particular action (b) how impacts may be minimized by limiting the degree or magnitude of the proposed action (c) how impacts may be rectified through repair, rehabilitation, or restoration of the affected environment and economy (d) how impacts may be reduced or eliminated over time through preservation and maintenance over the life of the proposed action and (e) how the agency could compensate for the impact by providing substitute resources of equal economic or environmental value.

    4.  Specify, for each mitigation measure, its (a) legal authority (b) technical feasibility (c) fiscal and economic feasibility (d) social, political, and cultural feasibility.

    5.  Draft a detailed mitigation monitoring plan which shows as to each mitigation measure specific objectives and performance standards to ensure implementation of mitigation measures during the life of the plan, program, or project.

G.  Cumulative Effects. Because the monitoring and maintenance efforts of state and federal agencies have historically proved inadequate to measure effectively the cumulative and long term effects of their plans, programs, and projects, these impacts remain unmeasured in any sense that will admit to remedial action. This is especially true for the impacts on multiple uses of natural resources and economic stability. To provide a necessary tool for addressing these issues, the county shall develop and make available local economic studies containing unit cost and other indices for the purpose of measuring economic impacts. One of the primary reasons for enacting the procedures contained in this ordinance and the commitment of county resources for the development of accurate data is to assist public agencies to identify systematically both present and cumulative impacts associated with their actions and to develop effective and feasible mitigation measures and alternatives so that these adverse impacts may be eliminated or substantially reduced to insignificance.

H.  Public Participation. Another key component of effective environmental review is public participation in the process. During the preparation of environmental documentation for plans, programs, and projects which are subject to this ordinance, Del Norte County and the proponent federal or state agency shall provide opportunities for the involvement of Del Norte County citizens, residents, local governments, schools, utilities, civic, business, and other community groups. Such opportunities shall be provided through noticed public hearings and meetings, or other methods calculated to give actual notice of and a meaningful opportunity to participate in the environmental review and assessment. (Ord. 2003-003 § 2 (part), 2003.)