2011 ORS § 537.620¹
Determination of completeness of application
  • initial review
  • preliminary determination
  • notice
  • public comments
  • fees

(1) The Water Resources Department shall accept all applications for permits submitted under ORS 537.615 (Application for permit to acquire new right or enlarge existing right to appropriate ground water) in proper form.

(2) Within 15 days after receiving the application, the department shall determine whether the application contains the information listed under ORS 537.615 (Application for permit to acquire new right or enlarge existing right to appropriate ground water) (2) and is complete and not defective, including the payment of all fees required under ORS 537.615 (Application for permit to acquire new right or enlarge existing right to appropriate ground water) (5). If the department determines that the application is incomplete or defective or that not all fees have been paid, the department shall return the fees paid and the application to the applicant to remedy the defect. If an application is complete and not defective, the department shall indorse on the application the date upon which the application was received at the department, which shall be the priority date for any water right issued in response to the application.

(3) Upon determining that an application is complete and not defective, the department shall determine whether the proposed use is prohibited by statute. If the proposed use is prohibited by statute, the department shall reject the application and return all fees to the applicant with an explanation of the statutory prohibition.

(4) If the proposed use is not prohibited by statute, the department shall undertake an initial review of the application and make a preliminary determination of:

(a) Whether the proposed use is restricted or limited by statute or rule or because the proposed use is located within a designated critical ground water area;

(b) The extent to which water is available from the proposed source during the times and in the amounts requested; and

(c) Any other issue the department identifies as a result of the initial review that may preclude approval of or restrict the proposed use.

(5) Upon completion of the initial review and no later than 30 days after determining an application to be complete and not defective as described in subsection (2) of this section, the department shall notify the applicant of its preliminary determinations and allow the applicant 14 days from the date of mailing within which to notify the department to stop processing the application or to proceed with the application. If the applicant notifies the department to stop processing the application, the department shall return the application and all fees paid in excess of $200. If the department receives no timely response from the applicant, the department shall proceed with the application.

(6) Within seven days after proceeding with the application under subsection (5) of this section, the department shall give public notice of the application in the weekly notice published by the department. The notice shall include a request for comments on the application and information pertaining to how an interested person may obtain future notices about the application and a copy of the proposed final order.

(7) Within 30 days after the public notice under subsection (6) of this section, any person interested in the application shall submit written comments to the department. Any person who asks to receive a copy of the departments proposed final order shall submit to the department the fee required under ORS 536.050 (Fees) (1)(p). [1955 c.708 §10; 1981 c.589 §4; 1985 c.673 §55; 1989 c.201 §3; 1991 c.102 §2; 1991 c.400 §3; 1991 c.735 §35; 1993 c.557 §5; 1995 c.416 §23; 1997 c.587 §9; 2007 c.267 §3; 2009 c.819 §9]

Note: The amendments to 537.620 (Determination of completeness of application) by section 16, chapter 819, Oregon Laws 2009, become operative July 1, 2013. See section 18, chapter 819, Oregon Laws 2009. The text that is operative on and after July 1, 2013, is set forth for the users convenience.

537.620 (Determination of completeness of application). (1) The Water Resources Department shall accept all applications for permits submitted under ORS 537.615 (Application for permit to acquire new right or enlarge existing right to appropriate ground water) in proper form.

(2) Within 15 days after receiving the application, the department shall determine whether the application contains the information listed under ORS 537.615 (Application for permit to acquire new right or enlarge existing right to appropriate ground water) (2) and is complete and not defective, including the payment of all fees required under ORS 537.615 (Application for permit to acquire new right or enlarge existing right to appropriate ground water) (5). If the department determines that the application is incomplete or defective or that not all fees have been paid, the department shall return the fees paid and the application to the applicant to remedy the defect. If an application is complete and not defective, the department shall indorse on the application the date upon which the application was received at the department, which shall be the priority date for any water right issued in response to the application.

(3) Upon determining that an application is complete and not defective, the department shall determine whether the proposed use is prohibited by statute. If the proposed use is prohibited by statute, the department shall reject the application and return all fees to the applicant with an explanation of the statutory prohibition.

(4) If the proposed use is not prohibited by statute, the department shall undertake an initial review of the application and make a preliminary determination of:

(a) Whether the proposed use is restricted or limited by statute or rule or because the proposed use is located within a designated critical ground water area;

(b) The extent to which water is available from the proposed source during the times and in the amounts requested; and

(c) Any other issue the department identifies as a result of the initial review that may preclude approval of or restrict the proposed use.

(5) Upon completion of the initial review and no later than 30 days after determining an application to be complete and not defective as described in subsection (2) of this section, the department shall notify the applicant of its preliminary determinations and allow the applicant 14 days from the date of mailing within which to notify the department to stop processing the application or to proceed with the application. If the applicant notifies the department to stop processing the application, the department shall return the application and all fees paid in excess of $150. If the department receives no timely response from the applicant, the department shall proceed with the application.

(6) Within seven days after proceeding with the application under subsection (5) of this section, the department shall give public notice of the application in the weekly notice published by the department. The notice shall include a request for comments on the application and information pertaining to how an interested person may obtain future notices about the application and a copy of the proposed final order.

(7) Within 30 days after the public notice under subsection (6) of this section, any person interested in the application shall submit written comments to the department. Any person who asks to receive a copy of the departments proposed final order shall submit to the department the fee required under ORS 536.050 (Fees) (1)(p).