Oregon Statutes - Chapter 543 - Hydroelectric Projects - Section 543.255 - Determination of cumulative impacts of proposed hydroelectric power projects; consolidated review; applicability.

(1) Whenever the Water Resources Department receives an application to appropriate water for a new hydroelectric project under ORS 537.140 to 537.320 or for a hydroelectric permit or license under ORS 543.010 to 543.610, the department shall determine whether the impacts of the project would be cumulative with:

(a) Impacts of other proposed hydroelectric projects for which an application is pending before the department; or

(b) Existing hydroelectric projects in the same river basin.

(2) If the department determines that there is no possibility that the hydroelectric projects proposed in pending applications or existing projects may have cumulative effects, the Water Resources Director shall issue an order setting forth the departmentís determination that there are no cumulative effects and the departmentís decision that consolidated review is not required.

(3) If the department determines that pending applications or existing projects may have cumulative effects, the Water Resources Commission shall conduct a consolidated review before approving any application in the affected river basin. A consolidated review process shall be conducted as a contested case hearing under the applicable provisions of ORS chapter 183 and shall include a study of the individual and cumulative effects of proposed hydroelectric projects for which applications are pending before the department and existing hydroelectric projects. In its final order on an application, the commission or the department shall include its findings on cumulative impacts. The findings of the commission or department under this section must be sufficient to support the departmentís decision to approve or deny an application.

(4) Any application for a project in the same river basin filed after the commission begins a consolidated review contested case hearing shall not be reviewed until the commission has issued final findings on cumulative effects for all projects included in the consolidated review proceeding.

(5) At the request of an applicant for a permit to appropriate water for a new hydroelectric project under ORS 537.140 to 537.320 or for a permit or license under ORS 543.010 to 543.610, the commission may immediately upon receiving such application begin the consolidated review proceeding under subsection (3) of this section. [1985 c.569 §10; 1985 c.673 §193; 1993 c.544 §8; 1995 c.229 §4; 1995 c.416 §39]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008