Screening or by-pass devices for water diversions
- • fees
- • costs
(1) Any person who diverts water from any body of water in this state in which any fish, subject to the State Fish and Wildlife Commission’s regulatory jurisdiction, exist may be required to install, operate and maintain screening or by-pass devices to provide adequate protection for fish populations present at the water diversion in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2)(a) The State Department of Fish and Wildlife shall establish a cost-sharing program to implement the installation of screening or by-pass devices on not less than 150 water diversions or 150 cubic feet per second of diverted water per biennium. The department shall select the water diversions to be screened from the priority listing of diversions established by the department and reviewed by the Fish Screening Task Force. The installation of a screening or by-pass device may be required only if:
(A) The water diversion is 30 cubic feet per second or more;
(B) A new water right is issued for the water diversion;
(C) The point of water diversion is transferred as described in ORS 540.525 (Installation of fish screening or by-pass device as prerequisite for transfer of point of diversion);
(D) Fewer than 150 persons per biennium volunteer to request such installation on the diversions for which they are responsible; or
(E) The Fish Screening Task Force has reviewed and approved the department’s request to require installation of screening or by-pass devices in order to complete the screening of a stream system or stream reach.
(b) The limitations on the number of diversions or cubic feet per second of diverted water to be screened as provided in this section do not prevent the installation of screening and by-pass devices for diversions by persons responsible for diversions who are willing to pay the full cost of installing screening and by-pass devices.
(c) Cost-sharing program funds may not be provided under this subsection for screening or by-pass devices on a water diversion involving water rights issued on or after January 1, 1996, unless the Fish Screening Task Force finds there is good cause to allow an exception. The department shall give preference to diversions of 30 cubic feet per second or less when making cost-sharing program funds available.
(3) When selecting diversions to be equipped with screening or by-pass devices, the department shall attempt to solicit persons who may volunteer to request the installation of such devices on the diversions for which they are responsible. When selecting diversions to be equipped with screening or by-pass devices, the department shall select those diversions that will provide protection to the greatest number of indigenous naturally spawning fish possible.
(4) If the department constructs and installs the screening or by-pass device, a fee shall be assessed against the person responsible for the diversion in an amount that does not exceed 40 percent of the construction and installation costs of the device. The fee shall be paid into the Fish Screening Subaccount. If the person responsible for the diversion constructs and installs the by-pass or screening device, the person shall be reimbursed from the Fish Screening Subaccount or other state funds in an amount that does not exceed 60 percent of the actual construction and installation costs of the device.
(5) The department’s cost of major maintenance and repair of screening or by-pass devices shall be paid from the Fish Screening Subaccount.
(6) The department is responsible for major maintenance and repair of screening or by-pass devices at water diversions of less than 30 cubic feet per second, and if failure by the department to perform major maintenance on or repair such devices results in damage or blockage to the water diversion on which a device has been installed, the person responsible for the water diversion shall give written notice of such damage or blockage to the department. If within seven days of the notice, the department fails to take appropriate action to perform major maintenance on or repair the device, and to repair any damage that has occurred, the person responsible for the water diversion may remove the device. If an emergency exists that will result in immediate damage to livestock or crops, the person responsible for the water diversion may remove the screening or by-pass device. A person required to comply with this section is responsible for minor maintenance and shall, in a timely manner, notify the department of the need for activities associated with major maintenance.
(7) A person who diverts water at a rate of 30 cubic feet per second or more is responsible for all maintenance of an installed screening or by-pass device.
(8) A person required to comply with this section may design, construct and install screening or by-pass devices adequate to prevent fish from leaving the body of water and entering the diversion or may request the department to design, construct and install such devices. However, if a person required to comply with this section fails to comply within 180 days after notice to comply by the department, the department shall design, install, operate and maintain on that person’s water diversion appropriate screening or by-pass devices and shall charge and collect from the person the actual costs thereof in an amount not to exceed the average cost for diversions of that size.
(9) If the diversion requiring screening or by-pass devices is located on public property, the department shall obtain from the property owner approval or permits necessary for such devices. Activities of the department pursuant to this section may not interfere with existing rights of way or easements of the person responsible for the diversion.
(10)(a) The department or its agent has the right of ingress and egress to and from those places where screening or by-pass devices are required, doing no unnecessary injury to the property of the landowner, for the purpose of designing, installing, inspecting, performing major maintenance on or repairing such devices.
(b) If a screening or by-pass device installed by the department must be removed or replaced due to inadequate design or faulty construction, the person responsible for the diversion shall bear no financial responsibility for its replacement or reconstruction.
(c) If a screening or by-pass device installed by the person responsible for the diversion must be removed or replaced due to faulty construction, the person shall bear full financial responsibility for its replacement or reconstruction.
(d) If the person responsible for a diversion on which a screening or by-pass device is installed fails to conduct appropriate inspection and minor maintenance, the department may perform such activities and charge and collect from the person responsible a fee not to exceed $150 for each required visit to the location of the screening or by-pass device.
(e) If the department determines that a person must install, operate, maintain, repair or replace a screening or by-pass device under this section, the department shall notify the person, by registered mail, of the specific action the person is required to take. The person may request a contested case hearing before the State Fish and Wildlife Commission, to be conducted as provided in ORS chapter 183.
(11) A person may not interfere with, tamper with, damage, destroy or remove in any manner not associated with regular and necessary maintenance procedures any screening or by-pass devices installed pursuant to this section.
(12) The department may maintain an action to cover any costs incurred by the department when a person who is required to comply with this section fails to comply. Such action shall be brought in the circuit court for the county in which the screening or by-pass device is located.
(13) Upon receiving notice from the department to comply with this section, a person responsible for a water diversion may be excused from compliance if the person demonstrates to the Fish Screening Task Force that:
(a) The installation and operation of screening or by-pass devices would not prevent appreciable damage to the fish populations in the body of water from which water is being diverted.
(b) Installation and operation of screening or by-pass devices would not be technically feasible.
(c) Installation of screening or by-pass devices would result in undue financial hardship.
(14)(a) Not later than January 1, 1996, the department, with the assistance of the Fish Screening Task Force and the Water Resources Department, shall establish and publish an updated priority listing of 3,500 water diversions in the state that should be equipped with screening or by-pass devices. Changes may be made to the list whenever deletions are made for any reason. The priority listing shall include the name and address of the person currently responsible for the water diversion, the location of the diversion, size of the diversion, type of screening or by-pass device required, estimated costs for construction and installation of screening or by-pass devices for the individual diversion and species of fish present in the water body. When developing the priority listing, the department shall base priorities for the installation of screening or by-pass devices on unscreened diversions on the following criteria:
(A) Fish species status.
(B) Fish numbers.
(C) Fish migration.
(D) Diversion size.
(E) Diversion amount.
(F) Any other criteria that the department, in consultation with the Fish Screening Task Force, considers appropriate.
(b) Criteria identified in this subsection shall be given appropriate consideration by the department when updating its priority listing. The priority listing will be updated to give the highest priority to those diversions that save the greatest number of fish and simultaneously protect the greatest number of threatened or endangered fish species.
(c) After the priority listing has been updated, the persons responsible for the diversions on the list shall be notified that their diversions appear on the list. Such persons also shall be furnished a description of the fish screening cost-sharing program.
(d)(A) The department shall notify, by means of registered mail, each person responsible for the first 250 diversions on the priority listing on or before January 1, 1996. The department shall furnish information regarding the fish screening cost-sharing program to each person responsible for a diversion included in the first 250 diversions on the priority listing on or before January 1, 1996. A person may not be required to install a screening or by-pass device unless previously notified by the department of the requirement to install such devices.
(B) On January 1 of each even-numbered year, the department shall notify each person responsible for a diversion included in the first 250 diversions on the priority listing. However, the department is not required to notify in a subsequent year any person previously notified. The department shall include with such notification information regarding the fish screening cost-sharing program.
(C) Before any person is required to install a screening or by-pass device, the department shall confirm the need for the device through a visual, on-site inspection by appropriate staff of the fish screening division of the department, or a district biologist of the department.
(15) As used in this section:
(a) "Behavioral barrier" means a system that utilizes a stimulus to take advantage of natural fish behavior to attract or repel fish. A behavioral barrier does not offer a physical impediment to fish movement, but uses such means as electricity, light, sound or hydraulic disturbance to move or guide fish.
(b) "Body of water" includes but is not limited to irrigation ditches, reservoirs, stock ponds and other artificially created structures or impoundments.
(c) "By-pass device" means any pipe, flume, open channel or other means of conveyance that transports fish back to the body of water from which the fish were diverted but does not include fishways or other passages around a dam.
(d) "Fish screen" means a screen, bar, rack or other barrier, including related improvements necessary to ensure its effective operation, to provide adequate protection for fish populations present at a water diversion.
(e) "Major maintenance" means all maintenance work done on a screening or by-pass device other than minor maintenance.
(f) "Minor maintenance" means periodic inspection, cleaning and servicing of screening or by-pass devices at such times and in such manner as to ensure proper operation of the screening or by-pass device.
(g) "Person" means any person, partnership, corporation, association, municipal corporation, political subdivision or governmental agency.
(h) "Screening device" means a fish screen or behavioral barrier. [1991 c.858 §2; 1993 c.478 §4; 1995 c.426 §1; 2005 c.22 §370; 2007 c.625 §1]
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