2017 ORS 537.753¹
Bond or letter of credit
  • landowner’s permit and bond
  • fee

(1) Any person who contracts or offers services to contract to construct, alter, abandon or convert wells shall have in effect a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit issued by an insured institution, as defined in ORS 706.008 (Additional definitions for Bank Act), running to the State of Oregon in the sum of $20,000, ensuring that in the construction, alteration, abandonment or conversion of wells, the principal shall comply with all the provisions of ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties) that are applicable to such construction, alteration, abandonment or conversion and to the rules and standards of well construction, alteration, abandonment and conversion that have been prescribed by the Water Resources Commission. The bond or letter of credit shall be filed with the Water Resources Commission.

(2) The Water Resources Commission or any person injured by failure of a water well constructor to comply with the provisions of the bond or letter of credit has a right of action on the bond or letter of credit in the name of the injured person. However, the aggregate liability of the surety or letter of credit issuer to all such persons may not exceed the sum of the bond or letter of credit.

(3) A proceeding against the bond or letter of credit under subsection (2) of this section may not be commenced unless the commission notifies the water well constructor of the alleged violation within three years after the date the water well report is filed with the commission.

(4) If a well is to be constructed, altered, abandoned or converted by a person that is not licensed under ORS 537.747 (Water well constructor’s license) on property owned by that person, the person shall obtain a permit from the commission before beginning work. Application for the permit shall be in the form prescribed by the commission and must be accompanied by a fee of $500. At the time the permit is obtained, the applicant also shall file with the commission a bond or an irrevocable letter of credit issued by an insured institution as defined in ORS 706.008 (Additional definitions for Bank Act) running to the State of Oregon in the sum of $10,000, ensuring that in the construction, alteration, abandonment or conversion of the well the landowner shall comply with all the provisions of ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties) that are applicable to the construction, alteration, abandonment or conversion of wells and to the rules and standards of well construction, alteration, abandonment and conversion that have been prescribed by the commission. Before the person who constructs, alters, abandons or converts a well referred to in this subsection seals the well, the person must give 10 days’ written notice of the construction, alteration, abandonment or conversion to the commission. After expiration of the notice period, the well may be sealed even if the commission has not caused the well to be inspected. [1961 c.334 §4; 1971 c.591 §2; 1981 c.416 §4; 1985 c.615 §1; 1985 c.673 §198; 1991 c.331 §78; 1997 c.631 §485; 1999 c.293 §3; 2003 c.144 §1; 2017 c.623 §1]

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.