Oregon Statutes - Chapter 541 - Watershed Enhancement and Protection; Water Development Projects; Miscellaneous Provisions on Water Rights; Stewardship Agreements - Section 541.331 - Protest against approval of petition; hearing; issuance of water right certificate; land subject to inclusion.

(1) Any user may file with the Water Resources Department, within 60 days after the date of first publication, under ORS 541.329, a protest against a proposed order approving the petition. Whenever a timely protest is filed or in the opinion of the Water Resources Director a hearing is necessary to determine whether the district has met the requirements of ORS 541.325 to 541.333 or the proposed changes described in the proposed order would result in injury to existing water rights, the department shall hold a hearing on the matter. The hearing shall be conducted according to the provisions of ORS chapter 183 applicable to contested cases. The hearing shall be held in the area where the rights are located unless the parties and the persons who filed the protest under this section stipulate otherwise.

(2) If after examination or hearing, the department finds that the district has met the requirements of ORS 541.325 to 541.331 and that the changes described in the proposed order would not result in injury to existing water rights, the department shall issue a final order approving the petition and map as described in the proposed order. If a water right certificate for the water right has been issued previously, the department shall cancel the previous certificate and issue a new certificate that conforms to the final order and map and retains the original priority date.

(3) A certificate issued under this section shall have the evidentiary effect provided for in ORS 537.270 except when the right to appropriate water described in the certificate is abandoned after the certificate is amended or issued.

(4) The department may approve for inclusion in a new certificate under ORS 541.329 and this section only land which, on July 1, 1993, or, if a district notifies the department under ORS 541.327 (4), on December 31, 2003, is:

(a) Land within the legal boundaries of the district as those boundaries were originally described or as they may have been changed by legally prescribed inclusion or exclusion proceedings.

(b) Land for which inclusion in the district has been requested previously as prescribed by law.

(c) Land on which a previously perfected water right has been applied beneficially and for which the user has been charged or assessed by the district in at least one of the last five years and for which the user is currently being charged or assessed. [1989 c.1000 §4; 1993 c.818 §4; 1995 c.554 §7; 1999 c.590 §1; 2003 c.691 §3]

Note: See note under 541.325.

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Last modified: August 7, 2008