Contested case proceeding to limit use of ground water in critical ground water area
(1) Any time after the Water Resources Commission adopts a rule under ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area) designating a critical ground water area, the commission may initiate a contested case proceeding to limit the use of ground water in the area if the commission has reason to believe that any of the qualifying criteria of ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area) (1) exists.
(2) Upon the conclusion of a contested case proceeding initiated under subsection (1) of this section and upon finding that the problems that resulted in the designation of a critical ground water area under ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area) can be resolved by implementing one or more of the corrective control provisions of this section, the commission shall issue a final order establishing any one or more of the following corrective control provisions:
(a) A provision apportioning the permissible total withdrawal as established by rule under ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area), among the appropriators holding valid rights to ground water in the critical area in accordance with the relative dates of priority of such rights.
(b) A provision according preference, without reference to relative priorities, to withdrawals of ground water in the critical area for residential and livestock watering purposes first. Thereafter, the commission may authorize withdrawals of ground water in the critical area for other beneficial purposes, including agricultural, industrial, municipal other than residential, and recreational purposes, in such order as the commission considers advisable under the circumstances, so long as such withdrawal will not materially affect a properly designed and operating well with prior rights that penetrates the aquifer.
(c) A provision reducing the permissible withdrawal of ground water by any one or more appropriators or wells in the critical area.
(d) Where two or more wells in the critical area are used by the same appropriator, a provision adjusting the total permissible withdrawal of ground water by such appropriator, or a provision forbidding the use of one or more of such wells completely.
(e) A provision requiring the abatement, in whole or part, or the sealing of any well in the critical area responsible for the admission of polluting materials into the ground water supply or responsible for the progressive impairment of the quality of the ground water supply by dispersing polluting materials that have entered the ground water supply previously.
(f) A provision requiring and specifying a system of rotation of use of ground water in the critical area.
(3) The commission shall conduct the proceeding under this section according to the provisions of ORS chapter 183 applicable to contested case proceedings. [1991 c.400 §2]
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