Disbursement of moneys in Water Well Abandonment, Repair and Replacement Fund
(1)As used in this section, “repair” may include, but is not limited to, a well deepening.
(2)Moneys in the Water Well Abandonment, Repair and Replacement Fund may be disbursed under authority of the Water Resources Director for the purposes described in this section. The Water Resources Department may disburse moneys from the fund to provide financial assistance:
(a)To a person, as defined in ORS 536.007 (Definitions), or member of a federally recognized Indian tribe in Oregon to permanently abandon a water well or to repair or replace a water well that is used for household purposes;
(b)To nonprofit, governmental or other institutions that meet qualifications established by Water Resources Commission rules, for programs to permanently abandon water wells and to repair or replace water wells used for household purposes;
(c)As cost-sharing with other programs to permanently abandon water wells and to repair or replace water wells used for household purposes; or
(d)To pay the cost of direct services of a water well constructor licensed under ORS 537.747 (Water well constructor’s license) to purchase necessary materials and perform the work needed for abandoning, repairing or replacing water wells that are eligible under this section.
(3)Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, financial assistance provided under subsection (2) of this section may not exceed:
(a)75 percent of the cost to permanently abandon a water well;
(b)75 percent of the cost to repair or to replace a water well used for household purposes; or
(c)50 percent of the cost of developing a program to permanently abandon, repair or replace water wells, when paid to an institution described in subsection (2)(b) of this section.
(4)Notwithstanding subsection (3) of this section, financial assistance provided under subsection (2) of this section to an individual with lower income, as defined by the department, may cover the full cost of the materials or work described in subsection (2) of this section.
(5)An expenditure from the fund is subject to at least one of the following purposes:
(a)The permanent abandonment, repair or replacement of water wells in which deficiencies in the well construction might:
(A)Result in waste, loss of artesian pressure or ground water declines;
(B)Serve as a conduit for contamination; or
(C)Otherwise be a detriment to public health or safety.
(b)The repair or replacement of water wells used for household purposes by persons of lower or moderate income.
(c)The replacement of water wells used for household purposes in areas of declining ground water levels where other sources of water for household purposes are not feasible.
(d)The abandonment, repair or replacement of water wells consistent with water resources management purposes specified by rule by the commission.
(e)The abandonment, repair or replacement of water wells damaged due to natural disasters.
(6)If the department provides funding to an institution under subsection (2)(b) of this section, the department shall require that the institution:
(a)Use accounting, auditing and fiscal procedures that conform with generally accepted government accounting standards;
(b)Give preference to persons of lower or moderate income and to small businesses that do not qualify for other financing;
(c)Demonstrate past success in offering, underwriting, servicing and managing loans or grants to:
(A)Persons of lower or moderate income; or
(B)Persons representing a wide range of qualifications for credit; and
(d)Have a plan for engaging other stakeholders in outreach and marketing efforts for a loan or grant program.
(7)The department may enter into contracts, intergovernmental agreements or other arrangements with public or private entities for any purposes consistent with this section.
(8)The commission may adopt rules to implement this section, including rules that:
(a)Prioritize the issuance of the funding for a purpose described in subsection (5) of this section.
(b)Establish a preference for providing the funding to individuals of moderate or lower income.
(c)Establish that the funding may only be provided to individuals of moderate or lower income. [2021 c.610 §3]
Section 537.767 — Disbursement of moneys in Water Well Abandonment, Repair and Replacement Fund,