Or. Admin. R. 690-051-0095 - Applications for Major Projects: Scope of Evaluation and Application of Standards

This rule establishes the process the applicant, the Department and those participating in the process must follow and defines the stages of application review and processing as required by ORS 543.280(4). The fee for each stage must be paid at the beginning of each stage of project review. If an applicant submits an application in any stage other than stage one, the total fees due up to an including that stage will be due upon submittal. Municipal corporations and utility districts follow the consultation requirements described however, no Preliminary Permit is required.

(1) Stage One 20 Percent of Fee: Preliminary Permit and Consultation:
(a) The Department shall receive the application together with the filing fee and date stamp the application which will thereafter serve as the priority date of the application (if the application is for an area withdrawn from hydroelectric development by the Commission the application and filing fee will be returned):
(A) The application shall be returned for correction or completion if defective. Additional information may be requested;
(B) Upon receipt of an application that is complete and not defective, notice of the application shall be printed in the Department weekly notice.
(b) The Department shall distribute copies of the application to the other agency representatives. The Department shall set a meeting date with the applicant to appear before the other agency representatives to give a presentation of the project;
(c) The applicant shall prepare a draft study plan for the project and distribute it to the appropriate agencies listed in OAR 690 051 0060 as applicable. For each of the resources that may be impacted, the written study plan should include the following major study elements and phases:
(A) Objectives;
(B) Resource background;
(C) Rationale or justification for proposed approach;
(D) Study area;
(E) Methodology;
(F) Sampling location and number, frequency and timing of sampling;
(G) Data treatment and analysis;
(H) Report preparation;
(I) Schedule; and
(J) Review of draft and final technical reports by resource agencies.
(d) The Department shall schedule a site visit and a public hearing for the purpose of providing information and receiving public questions and comment on the proposed project. Notice of the public hearing shall conform to OAR 690-051-0130;
(e) The Department shall establish a comment period during which the other affected agencies or the public shall review and comment on the draft study plan supplied by the applicant;
(f) The Director shall issue an order to modify, approve or reject the Preliminary Permit application based upon the standard set out at OAR 690-051-0080;
(g) The Preliminary Permit is denied or issued by the Director.
(2) Stage Two 30 Percent of Fee: Study and Draft Application:
(a) The applicant shall modify the study plan based upon the requirements imposed by the Preliminary Permit and submit it to the agencies and the Director for review. Notice of submittal shall appear in the Department weekly notice;
(b) An agency, tribe or the public may file a request with the Director for additional specific studies within 30 days of receipt of the final study plan;
(c) The applicant must file a response to a study request within 30 days of receiving notice from the Director of the request;
(d) The Director shall inform all participants of requests and responses to study requests that are received.
(e) The applicant shall conduct the studies in coordination with state and federal agencies;
(f) The applicant shall prepare a draft License or Permit application which it submits to the state and federal agencies and Indian tribes and makes available for public review. Notice of the opportunity to review the draft application shall be posted in the Department's weekly public notice;
(g) Comments on the studies and draft License or Permit application shall be submitted within a time specified by the Director who shall forward all responses to the other agency representatives and the applicant.
(3) Stage Three 30 Percent of Fee: Final Application, Cumulative Impact and Public Interest Reviews, Determinations and Hearings Process:
(a) The applicant shall file the Final License or Permit application with the Water Resources Department. Permit applications filed by municipal corporations or utility districts under ORS 537.140 for hydroelectric purposes and final license applications that are not following a preliminary permit application are also subject to the requirements of a public site visit and public hearing as in OAR 690-051-0095(1)(d). The Department shall distribute the application to the appropriate consultation agencies. The Department shall send notice of the application and of the filing to the local planning authority, affected property owners and public interest groups on record at the Water Resources Department as requesting such notices. The application shall be made available to the public by the project applicant and the Department;
(b) An agency, Indian tribe or member of the public who requests additional information shall notify the Director within 60 days after the application is so filed;
(c) The applicant shall file a response to additional information request(s) within 30 days of receiving notice from the Director of the request;
(d) The Director shall either accept or reject the applicant's position on additional studies and notify the affected parties accordingly;
(e) Once the application issues are resolved, a "ready for final review" notice shall be sent to agencies and interested parties by the Director (comments must be submitted within 60 days of the final review notice);
(f) The Director shall prepare a proposed final order that determines whether the proposed Project together with the recommended measures to protect, mitigate or enhance the natural resources of the State is consistent with the minimum standards of ORS 543.017, and the requirements of OAR 690-051-0160 through 690-051-0290 and whether the Project would impair or be detrimental to the public interest as provided in ORS 543.225. The proposed final order shall also provide findings on whether the proposed project may contribute to cumulative impacts with other existing, proposed or approved hydroelectric projects in the same river basin and whether consolidated review is required under ORS 543.255 and OAR 690-051-0290.
(g) The proposed final order shall be distributed to state and federal agencies, Indian tribes, owners of other proposed, approved or existing hydroelectric projects in the same river basin and other participants. Notice of the proposed final order shall be published in the Department's weekly public notice.
(h) If the Director determines that consolidated review is required, the Department shall refer the matter to the OAH to conduct a contested case hearing only after the period to file protests has passed in order to allow for all issues regarding the proposed project to be addressed in one contested case hearing. Such hearing may be consolidated or bifurcated as the Department directs.
(i) If one or more protests are filed within 30 days after issuance of a proposed final order the Department shall refer the matter to the OAH for a contested case hearing as provided in ORS 543.230(2) and/or 543.255(3). All issues regarding the proposed project may be addressed in one hearing. The hearing may be consolidated or bifurcated as the Department directs. If no protest is filed the Director shall issue a final order consistent with subsection (l) below.
(j) A proposed order shall be issued by the ALJ after a contested case hearing. Any party to the contested case hearing may file exceptions to the ALJ's proposed order. Exceptions must be filed with the Department within 30 days of the order. If no exceptions are filed to the ALJ's proposed order within 30 days, the Director shall issue a final order consistent with subsection (l) below.
(k) If exceptions are filed to the ALJ's proposed order, the Director shall review/hear argument (written or oral, at his/her discretion) and make the final determination for the final order.
(l) If, after the contested case hearing or, if a hearing is not held, after the close of the period allowed to file a protest, the Director determines that the proposed use does not comply with the minimum standards of ORS 543.017 and the requirements of OAR 690-051-0160 through 690-051-0290 or would otherwise impair or be detrimental to the public interest as provided in ORS 543.225, the Director shall issue a final order rejecting the application or modifying the proposed final order to comply with ORS 543.017 and the public interest. If, after the contested case hearing or, if a hearing is not held, after the close of the period allowed to file a protest, the Director determines that the proposed use would comply with the standards of ORS 543.017 and would not impair or be detrimental to the public interest of ORS 543.225, the Director shall issue a final order approving the application or otherwise modifying the proposed final order. A final order may set forth any of the provisions or restrictions to be included in the permit or final License concerning the use, control and management of the water to be appropriated for the project, including, but not limited to, a specification of reservoir operation and minimum releases to protect the public interest.
(m) If the project is approved a Permit or final License shall then be issued per OAR 690-051-0095(4).
(4) Stage Four 20 Percent of Fee: Final Plan Review and Inspection:
(a) The License or Permit shall be issued or denied with conditions that the Director deems necessary;
(b) The applicant shall submit construction specifications to the Director:
(A) The Director shall distribute the plans and specification to appropriate agencies and collate issues to be addressed by the applicant;
(B) The plans shall be approved by the Director or modified by the applicant and approved or denied.
(c) The applicant shall submit a construction schedule to the Director and construction bond documentation;
(d) The Director shall issue a Notice to Proceed;
(e) The applicant shall notify the Director of the beginning of construction;
(f) The Director shall conduct a final inspection of the constructed Project. For permits issued for applications filed under ORS 537.140 a water right certificate may be acquired according to ORS 537.250.

Notes

Or. Admin. R. 690-051-0095
WRD 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 5-19-93; WRD 8-2015, f. 12-18-15, cert. ef. 1/1/2016

Stat. Auth.: ORS 536.025 & 536.027

Stats. Implemented:

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