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Waterway Remediation and Restoration Rules

​​Waterway Remediation and Restoration Rules

The state of Oregon is the owner of the submerged and submersible lands of navigable waterways​, including meandered lakes, tidally influenced waterways and the Territorial Sea. The Oregon Department of State Lands (Department) manages these navigable waterways by authorizing certain uses and structures on them.

A number of waterway sites throughout Oregon have been designated as contaminated, and others are under investigation and/or may be designated as contaminated in the future.  Many of these sites are subject to environmental remediation and restoration activities.

In 2010 the State Land Board directed the Department to initiate rulemaking to develop new rules governing the processes to be used by the Department to authorize environmental remediation and/or restoration activities on state-owned lands. The subsequent rulemaking efforts involved extensive input from stakeholder groups and the public.

The State Land Board adopted the resulting rules (OAR 141-145​) in June of 2013. These rules are designed to facilitate access needed for remediation and restoration of state-owned submerged and submersible lands, and not to require any action that is contrary to or in conflict with any order work plan design or other deliverable approved by the ODEQ or EPA.

Among the uses governed by these rules are:

•             Monitored natural recovery
             Environmental dredging
•             Site monitoring
•             Enhanced monitored natural recovery
•             Sediment Cap
•             Restoration for mitigation (R/F or NRDA)
•             Other non-voluntary restoration

Prospective applicants for an easement, conservation easement, or lease under these rules must meet with Department staff to discuss the proposed project and use before submitting an application​ to the Department.

Calculation of compensation in most cases will involve use of a “Site Diminishment Impact​” factor that takes into account negative impacts to a site. Further details on each authorization type are provided below.

If you have questions concerning a use of state-owned land which is governed by these rules, please contact Pablo Martos, 503-986-5262.​

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​Access Authorization for Remediation or Restoration

Access Authorizations may be issued for site monitoring, habitat restoration, environmental dredging, monitored natural recovery, and enhanced monitored natural recovery. Access Authorizations are issued for a term of up to 3 years, and may be renewed once. 

These rules allow for a compensation-free Access Authorization for uses that are determined to have “no or minimal impact” to the authorized use area.  To qualify for a compensation-free Access Authorization, the use must not restrict public trust uses for more than 14 consecutive days per calendar year, and must not constrain the Department’s ability to issue other authorizations on the property.  

Uses of state-owned land that qualify for an Access Authorization and are determined to involve a “moderate or significant impact” will require compensation.  The amount of compensation is calculated according to these rules, and is subject to a $1000 minimum compensation ($500 for “orphaned sites”).

An application​ for an Access Authorization under these rules must be submitted at least 90 days before the requested issuance date and start of on-site activities. Access Authorization applications must also be accompanied by a non-refundable $750 application fee, payable to the Department. ​


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Easements and Leases for Remediation or Restoration

These rules allow for Easements and Leases for various remediation and restoration related uses of state-owned lands. These uses include non-voluntary restoration work, certain types of site monitoring activities, certain types of enhanced monitored natural recovery, sediment caps, and conservation easements. Sediment caps are subject to additional special requirements, as described in OAR 141-145-0050.

Conservation easements may be granted in perpetuity with Land Board approval. Other easements under these rules are typically granted for a term of up to 30 years. The holder of a term easement may apply for a new easement prior to the expiration of the term.  Leases under these rules are subject to preference right restrictions, are typically granted for a term of up to 15 years, and may be renewed upon expiration. 

Any application​ for these authorization types must be submitted at least 120 days before the requested issuance date and start of on-site activities, and the applicant is required to meet with the Department staff prior to submitting an application. All of these authorization types are also subject to a minimum compensation of $1000 ($500 for “Orphaned sites”), and must also be accompanied by a non-refundable $1,250 application fee, payable to the Department. The application for any of these authorizations must also be accompanied by a survey of the requested area conducted by a registered professional land surveyor.​

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