2007 ORS 537.534¹
Rules for permitting and administering aquifer storage and recovery projects
  • limited license for test program
  • fees

(1) In accordance with this section, the Water Resources Commission shall establish rules for the permitting and administration of aquifer storage and recovery projects. The rules shall establish the Water Resources Department as the sole permitting agency for the projects, but the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Human Services may comment on permits for a project and recommend conditions to be included on the permit. When necessary, the applicant also shall obtain land use and development approval from a local government.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 537.130 (Permit to appropriate water required), the Water Resources Commission shall establish by rule a procedure to allow a person to obtain a limited license to store and use water injected into an underground aquifer for aquifer storage and recovery testing purposes for a short term or fixed duration after the person complies with the notice provision set forth in ORS 537.144 (Request for right to use water under limited license). The rules shall provide a 30-day public comment period before issuance of a limited license. The Water Resources Department may attach conditions to the limited license regarding monitoring, sampling and rates of recovery up to 100 percent of the injection quantity. Aquifer storage and recovery under a limited license may be conditioned by the Water Resources Department to protect existing ground water rights that rely upon the receiving aquifer and the injection source water. The Water Resources Department may revoke or modify the limited license to use the stored water acquired under a limited license if that use causes injury to any other water right or to a minimum perennial streamflow. The Water Resources Director may issue a limited license for aquifer storage and recovery purposes for a term of not more than five years. The license may be renewed if the applicant demonstrates further testing is necessary.

(3) To obtain a limited license for aquifer storage and recovery, the applicant shall provide to the Water Resources Department:

(a) Well construction information;

(b) Test results of the quality of the injection source water;

(c) Test results of the quality of the receiving aquifer water;

(d) The proposed injected water storage time, recovery rates and recovery schedule;

(e) Preliminary hydrogeologic information including a description of the aquifer, estimated flow direction and rate of movement, allocation of surface water, springs or wells within the area affected by aquifer storage and recovery wells;

(f) The fee established by rule by the commission pursuant to ORS 536.050 (Fees) (1)(L); and

(g) Any other information required by rule of the commission.

(4) Only after completion of a test program under a limited license issued under subsection (3) of this section may the applicant apply for a permanent aquifer storage and recovery permit. Each application for an aquifer storage and recovery permit shall be accompanied by the fee set forth in ORS 536.050 (Fees) for examination of an application for a permit to store water. The Water Resources Department shall be the sole permitting agency for the project and may place conditions on the permit consistent with rules adopted by the commission, but the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Human Services may review, comment on and recommend conditions to be included on the permit. When necessary, the applicant shall obtain land use and development approval from a local government. Where existing water rights for the injection source water have been issued, the Water Resources Department shall receive comments from interested parties or agencies, but the public interest review standards shall apply only to the matters raised by the aquifer storage and recovery permit application in the same manner as any new water right application, not to the underlying water rights. If new water rights for injection source water and aquifer storage and recovery are necessary, then the public interest review standards shall apply to the new permit application in the same manner as any new water right application. The Water Resources Director may refer policy matters to the commission for decision.

(5) The commission shall adopt rules consistent with this section to implement an aquifer storage and recovery program. The rules shall include:

(a) Requirements for reporting and monitoring the aquifer storage and recovery project aquifer impacts and for constituents reasonably expected to be found in the injection source water.

(b) Provisions that allow any person operating an aquifer storage and recovery project under a permit, upon approval by the Water Resources Department, to recover up to 100 percent of the water stored in the aquifer storage facility if valid scientific data gathered during operations under the limited license or permit demonstrate that the injected source water is not lost through migration or other means and that ground water otherwise present in the aquifer has not been irretrievably lost as a result of aquifer storage or retrieval. The Water Resources Department may place such other conditions on withdrawal of stored water necessary to protect the public health and environment, including conditions allowing reconsideration of the permit to comply with ORS 537.532 (Injection of ground water into aquifers).

(c) The procedure for allowing the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Human Services to comment on and recommend permit conditions.

(6) The use of water under a permit as injection source water for an aquifer storage and recovery project up to the limits allowed in subsection (5)(b) of this section shall not affect the priority date of the water right permit or otherwise affect the right evidenced by the permit.

(7) The holder of a permit for aquifer storage and recovery shall apply for a transfer or change of use if the use of recovered water is different from that which is allowed in the source water permit or certificate. [1995 c.487 §4; 1997 c.587 §2; 1999 c.665 §3; 2003 c.594 §6]

Notes of Decisions

Ground Water Act of 1955, construed together with ORS chapter 536, governing ad­min­is­tra­­tion of wa­ter resources generally, cannot be read as expressly prohibiting local bodies from engaging in regulatory ac­tivity consistent with statute or agency regula­tions. Water Resources Dept. v. City of Klamath Falls, 68 Or App 148, 682 P2d 779 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Require­ments for exploring for or produc­tion of geothermal or oil or gas resources, (1974) Vol 37, p 68

Law Review Cita­tions

4 EL 333 (1974)

Chapter 537

Notes of Decisions

Water control district, in applying for wa­ter appropria­tion permit for hydroelectric project, was exempt from licensing pro­vi­sions of ORS 543.010 (Definitions for ORS 543.010 to 543.610) to 543.620 and needed only to comply with require­ments of this Chapter. Steamboaters v. Winchester Water Control Dist., 69 Or App 596, 688 P2d 92 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Reserva­tion to state of "all coal and other minerals" in deed of land by state as reserva­tion of geothermal resources, (1980) Vol 41, p 298

Law Review Cita­tions

11 EL 387 (1981); 16 EL 583, 592 (1986); 28 WLR 285 (1992)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 537—Appropriation of Water Generally, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­537.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 537, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­537ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.