Or. Admin. R. 690-010-0130 - Additional Requirements for Critical Ground Water Area Rulemaking Process

(1) The rulemaking process for designation of a critical groundwater area is governed by the applicable provisions under ORS Chapter 183, ORS 537.730 to 537.742, OAR Chapter 690 Divisions 001 and 005, and these rules.
(2) A rule adopted by the Water Resources Commission shall:
(a) Define the boundaries of the critical groundwater area and shall indicate which of the groundwater reservoirs located either in whole or in part within the area in question are included within the critical groundwater area. Any number of groundwater reservoirs which either wholly or partially overlie one another may be included within the same critical groundwater area;
(b) Contain a provision requiring a periodic review of conditions in the critical groundwater area. The review shall be in sufficient detail to evaluate the continuing need for the critical groundwater area designation and shall occur no less frequently than once every 10 years.
(3) For the purposes of ORS 537.735(1)(a) the exterior boundaries of a critical groundwater area may be reasonably inferred or ascertained:
(a) According to the presence of physical natural boundaries, hydrological conditions, or recharge or discharge areas; or
(b) Administratively by defining an affected area that does not have boundaries defined by natural features.
(c) Additionally, to the extent that sub-areas wholly contained within the designated critical groundwater area must be defined to allow for implementation of corrective control provisions, these sub-area boundaries will also be reasonably inferred or ascertained as in 690-010-0130 (3)(a) or (3)(b).
(4) In addition to the requirements under section (1), prior to Commission adoption of a rule designating a critical groundwater area, the Department shall:
(a) Coordinate with affected local governments using the process described in OAR 690-010-0140; and
(b) Engage, as described in OAR 690-010-0150, with any federally recognized Indian tribes in Oregon;
(c) Prior to convening a rules advisory committee pursuant to ORS 183.333, the Department shall prepare a draft report based on the best available science and information, identifying the criteria met under ORS 537.730(1)(a) - (g), identifying and characterizing the groundwater reservoirs subject to the proposed critical groundwater area designation and identifying corrective control measures likely to resolve the problems that resulted in the recommendation to designate a critical groundwater area. The draft report shall be posted on the Department's webpage until the end of the public comment period:
(A) Until the close of the public comment period, and consistent with ORS 183.335, the Department shall solicit and accept information and comments from the public regarding the draft report;
(B) The Department shall review the information and comments received and present a final report to the Commission that includes the Department's findings and conclusions and includes an assessment of the information and comments received;
(C) The report's findings and conclusions with respect to designation of a critical groundwater area shall be supported by substantial evidence that justifies the designation.
(5) In addition to the notice requirements under ORS 183.335, the Department shall give notice of the proposed rules by regular mail to:
(a) The owners of record of all groundwater registrations, inchoate transfers, permits and certificates for groundwater use within the affected area. For the purpose of providing notice by regular mail, the Department may rely upon the available county tax lot ownership information for parcels underlying or overlapping with water right places of use in the proposed critical groundwater area.
(b) All tax lot owners within the affected area and not within a municipal or quasi-municipal water service area.
(c) Each well constructor licensed under ORS 537.747.
(6) At least 60 days after notice of the proposed rules is provided under ORS 183.335, ORS 537.730(3) and these rules, the Department shall hold at least one public hearing within each county in which the proposed critical groundwater area lies. Notice of the hearing shall be provided in a manner consistent with ORS 537.730(3) and ORS 183.335(3)(b).
(7) As of the effective date of the 2023 amendments to these OAR Chapter 690, Division 010 rules, the Department had convened a Rulemaking Advisory Committee to consider adoption of a critical groundwater area in the Malheur Lake Basin (OAR Chapter 690, Division 512). These amended Division 010 rules, OAR 690-010-0100 through OAR 690-010-0240, apply to the proposal and adoption of any critical groundwater area rules arising from the already convened Rulemaking Advisory Committee, except as follows: The Department shall post the draft report required by OAR 690-010-0130(4)(c), initiate coordination with affected local governments as provided in OAR 690-010-0140(1), and initiate engagement with applicable federally recognized Indian tribes as provided in OAR 690-010-0150(1), no less than 60 days before issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking pursuant to ORS 183.335.


Or. Admin. R. 690-010-0130
WRD 12-2023, adopt filed 10/10/2023, effective 10/10/2023

Statutory/Other Authority: ORS 536.027 & ORS 537.780

Statutes/Other Implemented: ORS 537.730-537.742, ORS 537.780, ORS 537.525, ORS 183 & ORS 536-537

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