2017 ORS 537.747¹
Water well constructor’s license
  • rules
  • fees

(1) No person shall advertise services to construct, alter, abandon or convert wells, offer to enter or enter into a contract with another person or public agency to construct, alter, abandon or convert a well for such other person, cause any well construction, alteration, abandonment or conversion to be performed under such a contract or operate well drilling machinery without possessing a water well constructor’s license therefor in good standing issued by the Water Resources Department. The department shall adopt a single water well constructor’s license that may specify the type of well, type of well alteration or construction or type of well drilling machine operation for which the water well constructor is qualified.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a person may operate a well drilling machine without a water well constructor’s license if supervised by one who possesses such a license.

(3) A person shall be qualified to receive a water well constructor’s license if the person:

(a) Is at least 18 years of age.

(b) Has passed a written examination conducted by the department to determine fitness to operate as a water well constructor.

(c) Has paid a license fee and an examination fee according to the fee schedule set forth under subsection (6) of this section.

(d) Has one year or more experience in the operation of well drilling machinery.

(4) Upon fulfillment of all the requirements set out in subsection (3) of this section, the department shall issue the applicant a water well constructor’s license in a form prescribed by the department. The license may be issued for a period of two years.

(5) A water well constructor’s license shall expire on June 30 or on such date as may be specified by department rule. A person may renew a license by submitting an application and the appropriate fees any time before the license expires but not later than one year after the license expires. A person who renews a license within the 12 months after the license expires may either pay a penalty fee set forth under subsection (6)(d) of this section or requalify for a water well constructor’s license in accordance with subsection (3) of this section. If a person fails to renew a license within 12 months after expiration, the person must comply with the requirements of subsection (3) of this section for a new water well constructor’s license.

(6) The department shall collect in advance the following fees:

(a) An examination fee of $20.

(b) A license fee of $150.

(c) A renewal fee of $150.

(d) Unless a person requalifies for a water well constructor’s license in accordance with subsection (3) of this section, a water well constructor shall pay a renewal fee of $250 if the license is renewed within 12 months after expiration.

(e) If a person requalifies for a water well constructor’s license under subsection (3) of this section, the person shall pay the renewal fee established under paragraph (c) of this subsection.

(7) The department may revoke, suspend or refuse to renew any water well constructor’s license when it appears to the satisfaction of the department, after notice and opportunity to be heard by the licensee, that the licensee has failed to comply with the provisions of ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties) applicable to such licensee or any order or rule adopted thereunder applicable to such licensee, or has made a material misstatement of fact on an application for a license or well log or established a pattern of conduct that willfully or negligently violates any provision of ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties), or any rule adopted pursuant thereto, applicable to such licensee.

(8) The provisions of subsection (3) of this section requiring one year or more experience in the operation of well drilling machinery do not apply to any person who, on July 1, 1981, holds the license required by this section and who continues thereafter to maintain the license in good standing.

(9) The fees collected under subsection (6) of this section shall be paid into the Water Resources Department Water Right Operating Fund. Such moneys are continuously appropriated to the Water Resources Department to pay the department’s expenses in administering and enforcing the water well constructor’s licensing program. [1961 c.334 §2; 1971 c.591 §1; 1973 c.827 §58; 1981 c.416 §2; 1985 c.615 §2; 1985 c.673 §66; 1987 c.109 §1; 1989 c.758 §2; 1999 c.293 §2; 2001 c.496 §§5,8; 2003 c.594 §§9,10; 2007 c.221 §1; 2007 c.768 §§11,12]

Notes of Decisions

Water Resources Commission imple­menta­tion and en­force­­ment of state control over inspec­tion and construc­tion of wells is discre­tionary. Ashland Drilling, Inc. v. Jackson County, 168 Or App 624, 4 P3d 748 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

County ordinance pro­vi­sions requiring well construc­tion permit, imposing construc­tion permit fees, regulating well loca­tion, requiring submission of plot plans, and requiring flow testing are preempted by state law. Ashland Drilling, Inc. v. Jackson County, 168 Or App 624, 4 P3d 748 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

County ordinance pro­vi­sions requiring well wa­ter quality testing, requiring inclusion of notice in deed of inadequate wa­ter supply, and regulating subdivision of lands having inadequate wa­ter supply are not preempted by state law. Ashland Drilling, Inc. v. Jackson County, 168 Or App 624, 4 P3d 748 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

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.