This chapter shall not apply to the following activities:
   (A)   Excavations or grading conducted for farming or on-site construction or for the purpose of restoring land following a flood or natural disaster.
   (B)   On-site excavation and on-site earthmoving activities that are both an integral and necessary part of a construction project and undertaken to prepare a site for construction of structures, landscaping, or other land improvements, including the related excavation, grading, compaction, or the creation of fills, road cuts, and embankments, whether or not surplus materials are exported from the site. This exemption shall not be applicable unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:
      (1)   All required permits for the construction, landscaping, or related land improvements have been approved by a public agency in accordance with applicable provisions of State law and locally adopted plans and ordinances, including, but not limited to, CEQA.
      (2)   Approval of the construction project included consideration of the on-site excavation and on-site earthmoving activities pursuant to CEQA.
      (3)   The approved construction project is consistent with the general plan designation and zoning of the site.
      (4)   Surplus materials shall not be exported from the site unless and until actual construction work has commenced and shall cease if it is determined that construction activities have terminated, have been indefinitely suspended, or are no longer being actively pursued.
   (C)   Operation of a plant site used for mineral processing, including associated on-site structures, equipment, machines, tools, or other materials. This exemption is an exemption from the provisions of this chapter and not from other requirements of this code and shall include the on-site stockpiling and on-site recovery of mined materials. This exemption shall not be applicable unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:
      (1)   The plant site is located on lands designated for industrial or commercial uses in the general plan.
      (2)   The plant site is located on lands zoned for industrial or commercial use.
      (3)   None of the minerals being processed are being extracted on the plant site.
      (4)   All reclamation work has been completed pursuant to the approved reclamation plan for any mineral extraction activities that occurred on the plant site after January 1, 1976.
   (D)   Prospecting for, or the extraction of, minerals for commercial purposes and the removal of overburden in total amounts of less than 1,000 cubic yards in any one location of one acre or less.
   (E)   Surface mining operations that are required by federal law in order to protect a mining claim, if those operations are conducted solely for that purpose.
   (F)   Any other surface mining operations that the State Mining and Geology Board determines to be of an infrequent nature and which involve only minor surface disturbances.
   (G)   The solar evaporation of seawater or bay water for the production of salt and related minerals.
   (H)   Emergency excavation or grading conducted by the State Department of Water Resources or the State Reclamation Board for the purpose of averting, alleviating, repairing, or restoring damage to property due to imminent or recent floods, disasters, or other emergencies.
   (I)   Excavations or grading for the exclusive purpose of obtaining materials for roadbed construction and maintenance conducted in connection with timber operations or forest management on land owned by the same person or entity. This exemption is limited to excavation and grading that is conducted adjacent to timber operation or forest management roads. This exemption is available only if slope stability and erosion are controlled in accordance with State regulations and upon closure of the site, where necessary, revegetation measures and post-closure uses are implemented in consultation with the State Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. This exemption does not apply to on-site excavation or grading that occurs within 100 feet of a Class One watercourse or within 75 feet of a Class Two watercourse. This exemption also does not apply to excavations for materials that are, or have been, sold for commercial purposes.
   (J)   Excavations, grading or other earthmoving activities in an oil or gas field that are integral to, and necessary for, ongoing operations for the extraction of oil or gas. This exemption shall not be applicable unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:
      (1)   The operations are being conducted in accordance with Cal. Pub. Res. Code, Division 3, commencing with Section 3000.
      (2)   The operations are consistent with the general plan designation and zoning for the site.
      (3)   The earthmoving activities are within oil or gas field properties under a common owner or operator.
      (4)   No excavated materials are sold for commercial purposes.
(Ord. No. 2579)