2017 ORS 537.532¹
Injection of ground water into aquifers
  • standards

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the injection into aquifers of water that complies with drinking water standards established by the Oregon Health Authority under ORS 448.273 (Federal Safe Drinking Water Act administration) under an aquifer storage and recovery limited license or permit:

(a) Shall not be considered a waste, contaminant or pollutant;

(b) Shall be exempt from the requirement to obtain a discharge permit under ORS 468B.050 (Water quality permit) or 468B.053 (Alternatives to obtaining water quality permit) or a concentration limit variance from the Department of Environmental Quality;

(c) Shall comply with all other applicable local, state or federal laws; and

(d) May be located within or outside an urban growth boundary in conformance with land use laws.

(2) In order to continue to protect the high quality of Oregon’s aquifers for present and future uses, the Legislative Assembly recognizes the need to minimize concentrations of constituents in the injection source water that are not naturally present in the aquifer. Each aquifer storage and recovery limited license or permit shall include conditions to minimize, to the extent technically feasible, practical and cost-effective, the concentration of constituents in the injection source water that are not naturally present in the aquifer. In no case may an aquifer storage and recovery limited license or permit establish concentration limits for water to be injected in excess of the standards established by the authority under ORS 448.273 (Federal Safe Drinking Water Act administration) or the maximum measurable levels established by the Environmental Quality Commission under ORS 468B.165 (Ground water contaminants), whichever are more stringent.

(3) Except as otherwise provided, if the injection source water contains constituents regulated under ORS 448.273 (Federal Safe Drinking Water Act administration) or 468B.165 (Ground water contaminants) that are detected at greater than 50 percent of the established levels, the aquifer storage and recovery limited license or permit may require the permittee to employ, or continue the employment of, technically feasible, practical and cost-effective methods to minimize concentrations of such constituents in the injection source water. Constituents that have a secondary maximum contaminant level or constituents that are associated with disinfection of the water may be injected into the aquifer up to the standards established under ORS 448.273 (Federal Safe Drinking Water Act administration).

(4) The Water Resources Department may, based upon valid scientific data, further limit certain constituents in the injection source water if the department finds the constituents will interfere with or pose a threat to the maintenance of the water resources of the state for present or future beneficial uses. [1995 c.487 §3; 1997 c.286 §9; 2009 c.595 §984]

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); 47 WLR 405 (2011)

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/­ors537.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 537, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano537.­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.