The Department of State Lands (DSL) is responsible for regulating removal and fill in waters of the state which are defined as "natural waterways including all tidal and non-tidal bays, intermittent streams, constantly flowing streams, lakes, wetlands and other bodies of water" in Oregon. State law - ORS 196.800-990 – governs the removal-fill regulatory program.
The proposed Port of Morrow facility (Coyote Island Terminal LLC) needs a removal-fill permit from the Department of State Lands for the following elements of the project:
In-water work area isolation
Construction of an elevated, fixed dock and conveyor system which includes four, two-pile dock supports, as well as concrete capped conveyor supports.
Construction of an elevated, fixed-operation walkway with 12 supports, each consisting of two 14-inch diameter round steel piles, for workers mooring and loading barges.
Construction of nine multi-pile structures (dolphins) installed adjacent to the walkway for vessel mooring.
The permit application proposed 572 cubic yards of permanent fill (in the form of pilings) in the Columbia River on submerged land owned by the Port of Morrow.
On August 18, 2014, DSL denied the permit, after careful review of criteria laid out in Oregon law for issuing removal-fill permits.
On September 8, 2014, DSL received three requests for a contested case hearing regarding the permit denial (from the applicant, Coyote Island Terminal, LLC; the Port of Morrow; and the State of Wyoming). On October 1, 2014, DSL approved the requests for a hearing from the applicant and the port, and denied the State of Wyoming’s. DSL ruled that Wyoming does not have standing, as defined in OAR 141-085-0575(3).
The two requests will be consolidated into one and referred to the Office of Administrative Hearings where an administrative law judge will preside.
DSL on October 28, 2014, issued a ruling that Columbia Riverkeeper could participate in the contested case as a limited party; and on December 15, 2014, ruled that the states of Montana and Wyoming could participate as limited parties.
The parties met with Administrative Law Judge Alison Greene Webster in a pre-hearing conference on December, 16, 2014, to discuss the schedule and logistics. The hearing is tentatively scheduled for December 7-15, 2015.
Requests for contested case hearing and agency rulings: