(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), this chapter does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Immediate emergency work necessary to protect life or property.
(2) Immediate emergency repairs to public service facilities necessary to maintain service as a result of a disaster in an area in which a state of emergency has been proclaimed by the Governor pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code .
(3) Emergency projects undertaken, carried out, or approved by a state or local governmental agency to maintain, repair, or restore an existing highway, as defined in Section 360 of the Vehicle Code , within the existing right-of-way of the highway, that has been damaged as a result of fire, flood, storm, earthquake, land subsidence, gradual earth movement, or landslide, within one year of the damage. Work needed in the vicinity above and below a highway may be conducted outside of the existing right-of-way if it is needed to stop ongoing or recurring mudslides, landslides, or erosion that pose an immediate threat to the highway, or to restore those roadways damaged by mudslides, landslides, or erosion to their predamage condition and functionality. This paragraph does not exempt from this chapter any project undertaken, carried out, or approved by a state or local governmental agency to expand or widen a highway damaged by fire, flood, storm, earthquake, land subsidence, gradual earth movement, or landslide. The exception provided in this paragraph does not apply to a highway designated as an official state scenic highway pursuant to Section 262 of the Streets and Highways Code .
(b) The entity performing the emergency work described in subdivision (a) shall notify the department of the work, in writing, within 14 days of beginning the work. Any work described in the emergency notification that does not meet the criteria for the emergency work described in subdivision (a) is a violation of this chapter if the entity did not first notify the department in accordance with Section 1602 or 1611 .
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