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Oregon Water Resources Department Rulemaking
Current Rulemaking
 
Division 79 – Permanent Rules Establishing Procedures for Extending Reservations of Water for Economic Development

A reservation of water for future economic development sets aside a quantity of water for storage to meet future needs. The existing OAR 690,
Division 79 rules, which outline procedures to establish and extend reservations, have not been updated since the statutes governing reservations were amended in 1995 and 1997. As a result, the Division 79 rules are not consistent with changes in statute. A number of reservations are set to expire over the next few years; therefore, these Division 79 rules are intended to clarify the information requirements
and process the Department will follow in considering requests to extend reservations.
 
Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for Draft Permanent Rules

 
Division 512 – Malheur Lake Basin Program

In general, a Basin Program describes how water may be used in major river and lake basins and their tributaries. The Malheur Lake Basin Program currently describes that new uses may only be established if water is available unless the use is for an instream right, permit to store water between March 1 and May 31, use of stored water, and multi-purpose storage projects authorized under OAR 690-512-0100. The Malheur Lake Basin Program also reserves water for future economic development in the Home Creek sub-basin.
 
Current data, comprising substantial evidence, indicate that groundwater levels are declining in areas of the Greater Harney Valley Groundwater Area of Concern. Additional allocation of groundwater within this area may exacerbate these declines. A comparison between estimated annual recharge and previously allocated groundwater volumes indicates that groundwater is fully allocated in some areas of the basin. The Department is proposing to establish the Greater Harney Valley Groundwater Area of Concern in part of the Malheur Lake Basin, which will allow some pending applications to be approved if offset water can be provided, and limit future applications from being approved while a groundwater study is completed. Exempt uses will not be limited.
 
The first hearing will be held at Harney County Community Center on February 24, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.  A second hearing will be held at the Oregon Water Resources Department, 725 Summer St. NE, Room 124, Salem, OR 97301 on February 25, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Written comments will be accepted through March 1, 2016.  See below for more information. 
 
Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for the Draft Rules
Click here for the Exhibit 1 Map

Division 509 – Extending Reservations of Water for Economic Development for Burnt River Areas of the Powder Basin


NOTE: THE JANUARY 25th HEARING LOCATION HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE:
Geiser Grand Hotel, 1996 Main St. Baker City, OR  97814
 
These rules amendments would extend reservations of water for future economic development for the South Fork Burnt River, North Fork Burnt River, and Burnt River Subbasins of the Powder River Basin for an additional 20 years, to 2036, and change reporting requirements.  Without these rule amendments, the Burnt River area reservations will expire.  In addition, the rules include corrections to clarify that the uses for the reservations are classified uses and address inconsistencies in terminology. 
 
The first hearing will be held at the Best Western Sunridge Inn, Library/Marilyn's Room, 1 Sunridge Lane, Baker City, OR 97814 Geiser Grand Hotel, 1996 Main St., Baker City, OR  97814 on January 25, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  A second hearing will be held at the Oregon Water Resources Department, 725 Summer St. NE, Room 124b, Salem, OR 97301 on January 26, 2016 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Written comments will be accepted through February 4, 2016.  See below for more information. 
 
Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for the Draft Rules
 
 
 
Completed Rulemaking
 
Division 079 – Temporary Rules Establishing Procedures to Consider Pending Applications to Extend to Burnt River Reservations. 

The Oregon Water Resources Commission adopted temporary rules at its November 19 meeting to establish the process for extending reservations of water for storage for future economic development. These rules are intended to provide guidance on how to process applications that were submitted in September to extend the North Fork Burnt River, South Fork Burnt River, and Burnt River Subbasin Reservations.
 
Click here for the Certificate of Filing
Click here for Justification of Need
Click here for Adopted Rules

Division 93 – Rules Governing Grants and Loans for Water Supply Development

These rules establish procedures and requirements for the funding of water resources projects having economic, environmental, and community benefits from the Water Supply Development Account.  These rules are needed in order for the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) to award loans and grants to qualifying water resource projects.  These rules provide the process through which applicants may receive a grant or loan from OWRD for a water resource project. 
 
Click here for the schedule of Open House Events and Public Hearings 
Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for the Draft Rules
Click here for the Final Rules
Click here for the Final Rules Appendix 
 
Division 51 – Amendments to OAR Chapter 690, Division 51 Appropriation and Use of Water for Hydroelectric Power and Standards for Hydroelectric Applications

These rules establish procedures and requirements for the funding of water resources projects having economic, environmental, and community benefits from the Water Supply Development Account.  These rules are needed in order for the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) to award loans and grants to qualifying water resource projects.  These rules provide the process through which applicants may receive a grant or loan from OWRD for a water resource project.
 
Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing 
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for the Draft Rules
Click here for the Final Division 51 Rules
 
 
Division 200, 205, 210, 215, 220, & 240 – Well Construction Rules Regarding Special Area Standards, Definitions, Rule Clarifications, Setbacks, Dug Wells and Piezometers.

This rulemaking includes a number of changes regarding well construction.  The changes include the following:
- Establishing special area standards for the Mosier area of Wasco County.  The Mosier area has declining water levels due, in part, to improper well construction.  These proposed rules address the construction of new wells in the Mosier area by requiring the licensed well constructor responsible to consult with the Water Resources Department prior to the permanent installation of casing and seal material.  In addition, the rules require an additional notice period prior to the start of construction activities to allow the Department time to research information regarding the location of the proposed well and to have discussions about the proposed construction methods.  Also, the proposed rules require the installation of a dedicated measuring tube at the time of pump installation, repair or replacement so that the water level in the well can be determined at any time.
- Clarifying responsibilities regarding certain well and geotechnical hole construction, maintenance, alteration, conversion and abandonment activities.
- Clarifying the classification of injection wells installed for remediation purposes.
- Modifying the definition of silt so the definition in Division 200 matches the definition in Division 240.
- Correcting old and incorrect rule and table references and removing dates in rule that have expired.
- Clarifying the construction standards for dug wells.
- Establishing setback standards from permanent structures for new water wells in order to allow access for drilling equipment.
- Clarifying the protection methods of piezometers.
- Clarifying the location where constructor information is placed on a drilling machine.

Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for the Draft Rules
 

Division 522 - Amends Division 522 to Clarify Adjustment of Allocation Cap and Mitigation Credit Reassignment Upon Cancellation.

OAR Chapter 690, Division 522 is used in conjunction with the Deschutes Basin Ground Water Mitigation Rules in OAR Chapter 690, Division 505, and the Deschutes Basin Mitigation Bank and Mitigation Credit rules in OAR Chapter 690, Division 521.  In addition to other provisions, the Division 522 rules allow water to be added back to a 200 cubic foot per second allocation cap on new groundwater use and permanent mitigation credits to be reassigned under certain circumstances, including permit and certificate cancellation.  However, the rules unintentionally limit cancellation to specific statutes.  Division 522 cites ORS 537.410 (cancellation of a permit for failure to meet construction conditions), ORS 540.621 (voluntary cancellation of a certificate), and ORS 540.610 (forfeiture of a certificated water right).  This limits reassignment of permanent mitigation credits and inclusion of water back to the allocation cap if cancellation occurs under another statute.  The purpose of this rulemaking is to remove the references to specific cancellation statutes and allow water to be added back to the allocation cap and mitigation credits to be reassigned regardless of which cancellation process is exercised.

Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for the Draft Rules
 
 
Upper Klamath Basin Off-Project Area Groundwater Rulemaking
Division 25 - Local Rules Governing Control of Well Use in the Off-Project Area in the Klamath Basin.
The Oregon Water Resources Department is requesting public comment on proposed rules regarding the regulation of groundwater rights within the off-project area of the Upper Klamath Basin to benefit senior water right holders, consistent with the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The off-project area includes the Sprague River Basin, Williamson River Basin, and Wood River Valley, includingSevenmile Creek. The Department is re-noticing and extending the close of the public comment period for everyone from February 17 to March 2, 2015. In addition, the Department has scheduled another public hearing in February for members of the public to submit oral comments.  For more information on the rulemaking process and how to comment, please see the press release and forms below.
 
Click Here to view the January 21, 2015 press release 
Click Here for Notice of Additional Rulemaking Hearing and Extension of Public Comment Period.
Click here for the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here for the Draft Rules
 
Click here to view the December 31, 2014 press release
Click here for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
 
Click here for more information about the December 11 rules advisory committee meeting.
Click here to view a draft of the rules for the December 11 rules advisory committee meeting.
Click here for more information about the November 18 open house and rules advisory committee meeting.
Click here to view the October 10 press release and initial draft of the rules.
 
Division 20 – Dam Safety Administration, Engineering Design Requirements, Approvals, and Emergency Preparations.
 
These rules implement ORS 540.350 through 540.390 with actions that are intended to ensure the safety of dams insofar as they may affect possible damage to life or property.  These changes update rules to reflect current engineering and safety practices used to keep dams safe.  The rules are objective-based, with additional standards for higher hazard ratings (potential for accidental dam breach that could damage property or result in loss of life).  The general requirements for engineering design, drawings specifications, and administration are detailed in these rules, as is the approval process used by the Department; how the hazard rating is determined, and uses of the dam safety fee.
 
Click here to view Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here to view Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here to view Draft Rules
 
 
Division 325 – Allowing for Assignment of a Permit to One or More Parties with Replacement Permits Issued.
 
To establish requirements and procedures that shall be used by the Department to evaluate an application by a landowner of record holding a water right permit for irrigation, nursery, temperature control, stock watering or agricultural water use, to assign all or part of the water right permit and to issue a replacement permit to reflect an assignment from the current permit holder to one or more additional permit holders.
 
Click here to view Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here to view Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact Statement
Click here to view Draft Rules
 
 
Division 33 – Amends Division 33 Upper Columbia Rules to Achieve Consistency with ODFW Habitat Mitigation Rules.
 
Within OWRD’s current Division 33 Upper Columbia Rules, OAR 690-033-0120(4) references the ODFW Fish and Wildlife Habitat Mitigation Policy rule that was subsequently modified after adoption of these rules.  The proposed rule amendment to OAR 690-033-0120(4) is to reference current ODFW Implementation of Department Habitat Mitigation Recommendations (OAR 635-415-0025).  This amendment will result in OAR 690-033-0120(4) being consistent with ODFW rules.  In addition, the rule change would remove two unnecessary hyphens [OAR690-033-0120(1) & (2)(a)], update the title of the Northwest Power Planning Council to its current title, and update the statutory reference for fish screen design, installation, operation specifications, and passage requirements [OAR 690-033-0120(2)(c)] to achieve consistency with current ODFW revised statute references.
 
Click here to view Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here to view Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here to view Draft Rules
 
 
Division 310, 340, & 382 – Adjustment of Transaction Fees Set by Rule.
 
HB 2259 authorized transaction fee increases that average 13% to cover annual inflationary costs over a four-year period.  Most of the fee adjustments are made in statute; those fees set in rule are addressed in this rulemaking.
 
Click here to view Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here to view Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here to view Draft Rules
 
 
Division 200, 210, 215, & 240 – Well Construction Rules Focused on:  Bentonite Seals, Deepenings,Sparge Wells, Grout Reporting, and Closed Loops.
 
The proposed rule changes vary in scope and include:  Changing the classification of a sparge well from a geotechnical hole to a monitoring well; requiring well constructors to calculate and report how much sealing material is required and how much is used when placing an annular seal; clarifying the requirements when deepening an existing well and requires a copy of the original well report or the original well report number to be submitted with the deepening well report; correcting a rule reference error in the Geotechnical Hole rules; clarifying that the quality of water cannot interfere with the proper hydration of bentonite in closed loop installations; allowsunhydrated bentonite to be used to 200 feet and through up to 50 feet of standing water to seal water supply wells; and requiring unhydrated bentonite to be screened during placement through water, water quality to be tested and describes when it cannot be used.
 
Click here to view Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing
Click here to view Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact
Click here to view Draft Rules
 
 
For Current and Archived Rulemaking Notices, please click here
 
Interested in subscribing to our list to receive notices about rulemaking efforts?  Click here 
 
For questions, please contact Diana Enright, Rule Coordinator at (503) 986-0874, or via email at
 
Submit written comments (must be received by 5 PM on the day the comment period ends):
  By Mail: Rule Coordinator, Oregon Water Resources Department
                725 Summer St. NE, Suite A
                Salem, OR 97301-1271
                  By fax at:  503.986.0903, Attn: Rule Coordinator
                Or by email torule-coordinator@wrd.state.or.us