The Departments of State Lands, Agriculture and Fish & Wildlife are working together to implement HB 2437. The objective is to establish a notice-based process to allow for agricultural maintenance in dry traditionally maintained channels to a limited geographic area by Fall 2020.
Public comment period, public hearings set for draft rules
House Bill 2437 directed ODA to create a streamlined, notice-based process by which a person or water control district could engage in maintenance of channels used for agricultural drainage without a removal-fill permit from DSL under certain conditions.
ODA has worked with staff from the Oregon Departments of State Lands and Fish and Wildlife, along with a Rules Advisory Committee consisting of multiple interests, to develop the Oregon Administrative Rules to implement HB 2437. These new rules create the notice process while ensuring that any maintenance is conducted in a manner that protects, maintains or improves ecological functions of the channels, and upholds state objectives for fish recovery, protects wetlands, waterways, and fish and wildlife habitats.
ODA has opened the Public Comment Period for these draft rules, OAR 603-095-4000 through 603-095-4060. The Public Comment Period will be open from June 1, 2020, through 5 p.m. June 30, 2020.
ODA will also hold two virtual public hearings:
Full rule text is available in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or by emailing Amy Bingham.
You can submit public comments on these draft rules by email to ODA. Help us by including the following in the subject line: HB 2437 Ag Channel Rule Comments.
You also can submit written comments by mail to:
Public Records/Rules Coordinator
Oregon Department of Agriculture
Office of the Director
635 Capitol St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
Comments must be received at ODA by 5 p.m. June 30, 2020.
New notice-based tools
ODA will be establishing the new notification process that will require a landowner to submit a notice prior to performing any agricultural maintenance under HB 2437. This includes the development of new forms and guidance for this notice-based process.
Outreach and education
The agencies will be conducting outreach efforts prior to the implementation of HB 2437. This includes outreach and education to the public, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, agricultural, conservation, and other interest groups to ensure broad understanding of the bill. This will include an overview of the regulatory changes, what is expected for the new notice-based process, and conditions of approval. Agencies will also provide information on opportunities for public comment during the new administrative rules to be developed by DSL.