2017 ORS 454.655¹
Permit required for construction
  • application
  • time limit
  • special application procedure for septic tank installation on parcel of 10 acres or more

(1) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 454.675 (Exemptions), without first obtaining a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality, no person shall construct or install a subsurface sewage disposal system, alternative sewage disposal system or part thereof. However, a person may undertake emergency repairs limited to replacing minor broken components of the system without first obtaining a permit.

(2) A permit required by subsection (1) of this section shall be issued only in the name of an owner or contract purchaser in possession of the land. However, a permit issued to an owner or contract purchaser carries the condition that the owner or purchaser or regular employees or a person licensed under ORS 454.695 (License required to perform sewage disposal services) perform all labor in connection with the construction of the subsurface or alternative sewage disposal system.

(3) The applications for a permit required by this section must be accompanied by the permit fees prescribed in ORS 454.745 (Permit, service, report, variance and license fees).

(4) After receipt of an application and all requisite fees, subject to ORS 454.685 (Order limiting or prohibiting construction of sewage disposal systems), the department shall issue a permit if it finds that the proposed construction will be in accordance with the rules of the Environmental Quality Commission. A permit may not be issued if a community or area-wide sewerage system is available which will satisfactorily accommodate the proposed sewage discharge. The prohibition on the issuance of a permit in this subsection does not apply to a public agency as defined in ORS 454.430 (Definitions for ORS 454.430 to 454.445).

(5)(a) Unless weather conditions or distance and unavailability of transportation prevent the issuance of a permit within 20 days of the receipt of the application and fees by the department, the department shall issue or deny the permit within 20 days after such date. If such conditions prevent issuance or denial within 20 days, the department shall notify the applicant in writing of the reason for the delay and shall issue or deny the permit within 60 days after such notification.

(b) If within 20 days of the date of the application the department fails to issue or deny the permit or to give notice of conditions preventing such issuance or denial, the permit shall be considered to have been issued.

(c) If within 60 days of the date of the notification referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection, the department fails to issue or deny the permit, the permit shall be considered to have been issued.

(6) Upon request of any person, the department may issue a report, described in ORS 454.755 (Fees for certain reports on sewage disposal) (1), of evaluation of site suitability for installation of a subsurface or alternative sewage disposal system or nonwater-carried sewage disposal facility. The application for such report must be accompanied by the fees prescribed in ORS 454.755 (Fees for certain reports on sewage disposal).

(7) With respect to an application for a permit for the construction and installation of a septic tank and necessary effluent sewer and absorption facility for a single family residence or for a farm related activity on a parcel of 10 acres or more described in the application by the owner or contract purchaser of the parcel, the Department of Environmental Quality:

(a) Within the period allowed by subsection (5)(a) of this section after receipt by it of the application, shall issue the permit or deliver to the applicant a notice of intent to deny the issuance of the permit;

(b) In any notice of intent to deny an application, shall specify the reasons for the intended denial based upon the rules of the Environmental Quality Commission for the construction and installation of a septic tank and necessary effluent sewer and absorption facility or based upon the factors included in ORS 454.685 (Order limiting or prohibiting construction of sewage disposal systems) (2)(a) to (j);

(c) Upon request of the applicant, shall conduct a hearing in the manner provided in ORS 454.635 (Notice of violation) (4) and (5) on the reasons specified in a notice of intent to deny the application with the burden of proof upon the department to justify the reasons specified; and

(d) In the case of issuance of a permit, may include as a condition of the permit that no other permit for a subsurface sewage disposal system or alternative sewage disposal system shall be issued for use on the described parcel while the approved septic tank, effluent sewer and absorption facility are in use on the described parcel. [1973 c.835 §213; 1974 c.30 §2; 1975 c.167 §5; 1975 c.794 §1; 1999 c.551 §6; 2001 c.557 §6]

Notes of Decisions

Community or area-wide sewerage system may be considered “available” notwithstanding that condi­tion precedent prevents immediate availability of system. Jeld-Wen, Inc. v. Environ­mental Quality Commission, 162 Or App 100, 986 P2d 582 (1999), Sup Ct review denied

Chapter 454

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Employ­ment of journeyman plumbers to construct drain and sewerage lines, (1976) Vol 37, p 1404

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 454—Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors454.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 454, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano454.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
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.