(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the director shall approve a coho salmon habitat enhancement project if the project will maintain existing levels of human health and safety protection, including, but not limited to, flood protection, and meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The project is consistent with fish passage guidelines and coho salmon recovery plans.
(2) The primary project purpose is for voluntary restoration.
(3) The project is no larger than five acres or 500 linear feet in size, measured by calculating the direct area of impact.
(4) Completion of all phases of the coho salmon habitat enhancement project will not exceed five years.
(5) The project will not result in cumulative negative environmental impacts that are significant when viewed in connection with the effects of past, current, or probable future projects.
(b) The directors approval of a coho salmon habitat enhancement project pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be in lieu of any other permit, license, or other approval issued by the department, including, but not limited to, those issued pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3, Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1900) of Division 2, and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1600) of Division 2.
(c) The directors approval of a coho salmon
habitat enhancement project pursuant to subdivision (a) shall constitute an action taken by a regulatory agency, as authorized by state law, to ensure the maintenance, restoration, or enhancement of a natural resource where the regulatory process involves procedures for protection of the environment.
(d) Within 60 days after the director receives a written request to approve a coho salmon habitat enhancement project containing the information required pursuant to subdivision (e), the director shall determine whether substantial evidence exists that the coho salmon habitat enhancement project is consistent with subdivision (a).
(e) A written request to approve a coho salmon habitat enhancement project shall contain all of the following:
(1) The name, address, title, organization, telephone number, and electronic mail
address of the natural person or persons who will be the main point of contact for the project proponent.
(2) A full description of the coho salmon habitat enhancement project that includes the design criteria used for the project, restoration or enhancement methods, an estimate of temporary restoration or enhancement-related disturbance, project schedule, and how the project will result in a net benefit to coho salmon and other affected species.
(3) A map clearly identifying the project location and photographs of the project site.
(4) An assessment of the project area that provides a description of existing flora and fauna and the potential presence of sensitive species or habitat.
(5) A description of environmental protection measures incorporated
into the project design, including, but not limited to, measures to avoid and minimize impacts to water quality and potentially present species protected by state law, so that no potentially significant negative environmental impacts will result from the project.
(6) Substantial evidence to support a conclusion that the project meets the criteria set forth in this section. Substantial evidence shall cite relevant design criteria and environmental protection measures that are set forth in the fish passage guidelines and coho salmon recovery plans.
(f) (1)If the director determines at any time that the project is no longer consistent with subdivision (a), due to a material change between the project as submitted and the project being implemented or a change in environmental circumstances in the area of implementation, the director shall notify the project
proponent in writing and project implementation shall be suspended or approval pursuant to this chapter revoked. Written notice from the director shall be delivered in person or by certified mail to the project proponent and shall specify the reasons why ministerial approval of the project was suspended or revoked. The approval for a project shall not be revoked pursuant to this subdivision unless it has first been suspended pursuant to this subdivision.
(2) Within 30 days of receipt of a notice of suspension, the project proponent may file an objection with the director. Any objection shall be in writing and state the reasons why the project proponent objects to the suspension.
(3) The director shall revoke approval or lift the suspension of project implementation within 30 days after the end of the objection period in paragraph (2).