Within 45 days after the Water Resources Director schedules a contested case hearing under ORS 537.153 (Review of application) (8), the Water Resources Department shall hold the contested case hearing. The issues to be considered in the contested case hearing shall be limited to issues identified by the administrative law judge.
Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS chapter 183 pertaining to contested case proceedings, the parties to any contested case hearing initiated under this section shall be limited to:
Any person who timely filed a protest; and
Any person who timely filed a request for standing under ORS 537.153 (Review of application) (5) and who requests to intervene in the contested case hearing prior to the start of the proceeding.
The contested case proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with the applicable provisions of ORS chapter 183 except:
As provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section; and
Each person submitting a protest or a request for standing shall raise all reasonably ascertainable issues and submit all reasonably available arguments supporting the person’s position by the close of the protest period. Failure to raise a reasonably ascertainable issue in a protest or in a hearing or failure to provide sufficient specificity to afford the Water Resources Department an opportunity to respond to the issue precludes judicial review based on that issue.
If, after the contested case hearing or, if a hearing is not held, after the close of the period allowed to file a protest, the director determines that the proposed use does not comply with the standards set forth in ORS 543.017 (Minimum standards for development of hydroelectric power) or rules adopted by the Water Resources Commission under ORS 543.017 (Minimum standards for development of hydroelectric power) or would otherwise impair or be detrimental to the public interest, the director shall issue a final order rejecting the application or modifying the proposed final order to conform to the public interest. If, after the contested case hearing or, if a hearing is not held, after the close of the period allowed to file a protest, the director determines that the proposed use would not impair or be detrimental to the public interest, the director shall issue a final order approving the application or otherwise modifying the proposed final order. A final order may set forth any of the provisions or restrictions to be included in the permit concerning the use, control and management of the water to be appropriated for the project, including, but not limited to, a specification of reservoir operation and minimum releases to protect the public interest.
If a contested case hearing is not held:
Where the final order modifies the proposed final order, the applicant may request and the department shall schedule a contested case hearing as provided under subsection (3) of this section by submitting the information required for a protest under ORS 537.153 (Review of application) (6) within 14 days after the director issues the final order. However, the issues on which a contested case hearing may be requested and conducted under this paragraph shall be limited to issues based on the modifications to the proposed final order.
Only the applicant or a protestant may appeal the provisions of the final order in the manner established in ORS chapter 183 for appeal of order other than contested cases.
If the presumption of public interest under ORS 537.153 (Review of application) (2) is overcome, then before issuing a final order, the director or the commission, if applicable, shall make the final determination of whether the proposed use or the proposed use as modified in the proposed final order would impair or be detrimental to the public interest by considering:
Conserving the highest use of the water for all purposes, including irrigation, domestic use, municipal water supply, power development, public recreation, protection of commercial and game fishing and wildlife, fire protection, mining, industrial purposes, navigation, scenic attraction or any other beneficial use to which the water may be applied for which it may have a special value to the public.
The maximum economic development of the waters involved.
The control of the waters of this state for all beneficial purposes, including drainage, sanitation and flood control.
The amount of waters available for appropriation for beneficial use.
The prevention of wasteful, uneconomic, impracticable or unreasonable use of the waters involved.
All vested and inchoate rights to the waters of this state or to the use of the waters of this state, and the means necessary to protect such rights.
Upon issuing a final order, the director shall notify the applicant and each person who submitted written comments or protests or otherwise requested notice of the final order and send a copy of the final order to any person who requested a copy and paid the fee required under ORS 536.050 (Fees) (1)(p). [Amended by 1955 c.707 §36; 1961 c.224 §12; 1963 c.378 §1; 1975 c.581 §26; 1985 c.569 §19; 1985 c.673 §30; 1995 c.416 §13; 1997 c.587 §6; 2003 c.75 §96]