2013 ORS § 543.225¹
Hearing on application
  • notice
  • policy

(1) The Water Resources Commission shall conduct a public hearing on any application or amended application for a preliminary permit or for a license for a major project of more than 100 theoretical horsepower and an application for preliminary permit or license for a minor project of less than 100 theoretical horsepower if the commission concludes it is in the public interest to do so.

(2) The commission shall give proper notice of the public hearing on an application under subsection (1) of this section, to the applicant and to each protestant, if any. After the hearing, if the commission determines that the proposed project does not comply with the standards set forth in ORS 543.017 (Minimum standards for development of hydroelectric power) or rules adopted by the commission under ORS 543.017 (Minimum standards for development of hydroelectric power), or would otherwise impair or be detrimental to the public interest so far as the coordinated, integrated state water resources policy is concerned, it shall enter an order rejecting the application or requiring its modification to conform to the public interest, to the end that the highest public benefit may result from the proposed project. The order may set forth any or all of the provisions or restrictions to be included in a preliminary permit or 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.

(3) In determining whether the proposed project would impair or be detrimental to the public interest, the commission shall have due regard for:

(a) Conserving the highest use of the water for all purposes, including irrigation, domestic use, municipal water supply, power development, public recreation, protection of commercial and game fishing and wildlife, fire protection, mining, industrial purposes, navigation, scenic attraction or any other beneficial use to which the water may be applied for which it may have a special value to the public.

(b) The maximum economic development of the waters involved.

(c) The control of the waters of this state for all beneficial purposes, including drainage, sanitation and flood control.

(d) The amount of waters available for appropriation for beneficial use.

(e) The prevention of wasteful, uneconomic, impracticable or unreasonable use of the waters involved.

(f) All vested and inchoate rights to the waters of this state or to the use thereof, and the means necessary to protect such rights.

(g) The state water resources policy formulated under ORS 536.295 (Conditions for consideration of application for use not classified in basin program) to 536.350 (Delivery of water resources statement to certain public bodies) and 537.505 (Short title) to 537.534 (Rules for permitting and administering aquifer storage and recovery projects).

(4) After the entry of the order specified in subsection (2) of this section, the application for a preliminary permit or for a license shall be referred to the Water Resources Director for further proceedings consistent with the commissions order. [1955 c.707 §42; 1961 c.224 §17; 1975 c.581 §28; 1985 c.569 §20; 1985 c.673 §148]