SENATE COMMITTEE ON WATER AND LAND USE

 

 

April 07, 2003                                                                                                         Hearing Room D

3:00 p.m.                                                                                                                       Tapes 42 - 43

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Chair

Sen. Charlie Ringo, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Rick Metsger

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Megan Jensen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:           SB 499 Work Session

                                                SB 398 Public Hearing

SB 591 Public Hearing

SB 820 Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 42, A

004

Chair Ferrioli

Calls meeting to order at 3:10 p.m. and opens public hearing on SB 499.

SB 499 – WORK SESSION

011

Gail Achterman

Deschutes Resources Conservancy. Submits testimony on SB 499 and -2 amendments (EXHIBIT A).

043

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if the Governor is now required to appoint nine members instead of six members.

046

Chair Ferrioli

Affirms and explains the difference is subtracting the two legislator members.

047

Achterman

Explains elimination of the public member to accommodate the tribal and hydroelectric members.

060

Sen. Atkinson

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 499-2 amendments dated 4/7/03.

 

 

VOTE:  3-0

064

Chair Ferrioli

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

065

Sen. Atkinson

MOTION:  Moves SB 499 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation and the SUBSEQUENT REFERRAL to the committee on Ways and Means BE RESCINDED.

 

 

VOTE:  3-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

EXCUSED:  1 – Sen. Ringo

070

Chair Ferrioli

The motion CARRIES.

SEN. MESSERLE will lead discussion on the floor.

Closes public hearing on SB 499 and opens public hearing on SB 820.

SB 820 – Public Hearing

097

Sen. David Nelson

District 29 State Senator. Provides testimony in support of SB 820 (EXHIBIT B) and -1 amendments (EXHIBIT C). Discusses the various uses of Columbia River water for municipal, irrigation and industrial purposes.

180

Sen. Ringo

Inquires if SB 820 will ensure that water will be available for a variety of economic uses.

185

Sen. Nelson

Responds that the goal is to use 1% more of the Columbia River water.

193

Sen. Ringo

Wonders about the focus of SB 820.

200

Sen. Nelson

Responds that the water could be used for a variety of purposes.

202

Chair Ferrioli

Explains that SB 820 contains strict limitations on total water used from the river.

230

Martha Pagel

Eastern Oregon Irrigation Association. Provides testimony in support of SB 820. Discusses the two goals of SB 820:

  • To create a reservation of water in the Columbia River for future economic development
  • To remove duplicative state review of compliance under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) for water right applications to use the reserved water.

280

Sen. Ringo

Asks why the change is proposed for the Columbia River and not other rivers.

289

Pagel

Responds that the regulatory streamlining ideas could benefit other rivers as well.

293

Sen. Ringo

Asks about the rationale behind making the Columbia River the focus of SB 820.

297

Pagel

Explains that the Columbia River is an interstate boundary and the level federal management is different from other rivers in Oregon.

307

Sen. Ringo

Inquires if the two goals of SB 820 are equally important.

313

Pagel

Affirms and elaborates

330

Sen. Ringo

Asks if federal ESA hurdles are more difficult to overcome on the Columbia River than on other rivers.

334

Pagel

Discusses issues of compliance and explains that the Columbia River management plan has many levels of complexity.

337

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if Oregon owns a reservation of several million acre feet of Columbia River irrigation water that has never been exercised.

352

Pagel

Affirms and explains the Columbia River Basin Plan.

369

Chair Ferrioli

States that SB 820 currently does not create such a reservation, and amendments are necessary.

372

Pagel

Affirms.


 

380

Chair Ferrioli

Discusses water reservation and inquires about the work group progress.

390

Pagel

Responds that the work group will attempt to work quickly.

400

Sen. Atkinson

Asks what problem the 1986 Legislature was attempting to solve regarding this issue.

404

Pagel

Explains the 1986 Legislature’s decisions.

415

Sen. Atkinson

Asks why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is not listed as one of the review agencies removed in SB 820.

422

Pagel

Explains that NOAA Fisheries provides consulting services and certain permits.

TAPE 43, A

010

Fred Ziari

Eastern Oregon Irrigation Association, Hermiston Development Corporation. Provides testimony in support of SB 820 and discusses the effects of ESA on economic development.

029

Sen. Ringo

Asks if he is referring to the state or federal ESA.

030

Ziari

Responds that he is referring to the federal ESA. Comments on removing productive land from the farm base and conveys that he would like to see 1% of Columbia River water diverted for economic uses in Oregon.

074

Gary Neal

Port of Morrow. Provides testimony in support of 820. Describes the functions of the Port of Morrow and talks about ways to attract business and industry in the area. Believes regulatory streamlining should be encouraged.

140

Sen. Ringo

Asks if industry would locate in Morrow County if water was available.

142

Neal

Believes that jobs would be created.

148

Sen. Ringo

Asks what types of industry would be established.

150

Neal

Mentions food processors and power plants.

157

Sen. Ringo

Asks if agricultural practices would increase.

158

Neal

Replies that agriculture could be expanded in the area and elaborates.

165

Sen. Ringo

Inquires if there has been discussion of charging for the allocation of water based on cost.

172

Neal

Talks about streamlining regulatory procedures and states fees might be acceptable if farmers could pass some of the cost on to consumers.

182

Sen. Atkinson

Asks how far south Columbia River water can go currently.

186

Ziari

Explains that water could go 15-20 miles and be used to develop 50,000 to100,000 new acres. Elaborates on costs associated with using Columbia River water.

213

Bob Levy

Hermiston. Provides testimony in support of SB 820. Reiterates issues surrounding uses of Columbia River water.

254

Sen. Ringo

Wonders about a fair allocation of water for Oregon users.

261

Ziari

Explains the background of claiming 1% of Columbia River water.

275

Pagel

Clarifies that if 1% of river water is set aside for economic development, the rest of the water will be maintained for navigation, power and fish.

293

Sen. Ringo

Inquires if Washington and Idaho are expected to increase consumption of Columbia River water.

295

Ziari

Explains the water situation in Washington.

320

Sen. Ringo

Asks if a certain amount of water should be left in the river.

330

Ziari

Asserts his belief that the Columbia River is the most underutilized river system in the world.

347

Pagel

Discusses water rights applications.

364

Chair Ferrioli

Comments that of the 7% total water utilization, 5% goes to Washington and less than 1% to each of the other states.

366

Ziari

Clarifies that Idaho is the largest user of water, with Washington as the second largest and Oregon as the third largest users.

374

Chair Ferrioli

Asks about moratorium agreement between Oregon and Washington.

382

Pagel

Explains that rules went into effect that required an extra level of review and elaborates.

TAPE 42, B

010

William Burke

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation (CTUIR) Water Commission. Provides testimony in opposition to SB 820 (EXHIBIT E). Provides background information on CTUIR’s interest in the Umatilla River and other Oregon rivers.

080

John Barkely

CTUIR Water Commission. Provides testimony against SB 820:

  • SB 820 contradicts existing state river protection laws and regulations that require any new use of water to be in the public interest
  • SB 820 is contrary to the state’s recovery goals as set forth in the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds
  • Oregon law already provides for the reservation of unallocated water for future economic development
  • SB 820 would allow for diversions from the Columbia River before the impact of such diversions on listed species can be determined
  • SB 820 does not recognize the interests of Oregon Indian tribes

224

Sen. Atkinson

Asks about recharging the aquifer.

227

Barkely

Elaborates on recharging the aquifer.

250

Sen. Atkinson

Asks for clarification on potential diminishments of instream flows in the Umatilla River under SB 820.

255

Barkely

Explains that what happened in the past to the Umatilla River should be avoided with the Columbia River.

260

Sen. Ringo

Asks if CTUIR private lands touch the main stem of the Columbia River.

263

Barkely

Responds that one piece of land is on the Columbia River.

266

Sen. Ringo

Confirms that CTUIR has a direct interest in the main stem of the Columbia River

270

Burke

Affirms.

273

Sen. Ringo

Asks if CTUIR has fishing rights on the Columbia River.

278

Burke

Affirms.

283

Sen. Ringo

Inquires if Columbia River fish are already suffering because of the over-allocation of water.

285

Burke

Affirms and elaborates on allocating water for fish.

348

Sen. Ringo

Asks for more information about the impact of slow flowing water on salmon.

363

Barkely

Explains that river water needs to move quickly to stay cold so salmon can survive. Elaborates on impacts on salmon and discusses overriding concerns.

400

Burke

Discusses Columbia River flows.

420

Sen. Ferrioli

Discusses mitigating the damages to the Umatilla River and restoration of fish runs by tribes. Acknowledges concerns about lack of representation and mentions local irrigation districts’ problems with groundwater management.

TAPE 43, B

005

Ferrioli

Continues comments and asks tribes to join work group.

030

Burke

Agrees.

033

Ferrioli

States that tribal support for SB 820 is crucial.

063

Kimberly Priestley

WaterWatch of Oregon. Provides testimony in opposition to SB 820 (EXHIBIT F). States concern with the flow rates for the health of fish in the Columbia River.

096

Chair Ferrioli

Asks about oversubscription of the water.

098

Priestley

States that the needs of the fish are not being met.

101

Chair Ferrioli

Remarks that an increase in rainfall over the Columbia Basin would contribute to increased river flow.

106

Priestley

Responds that an increase in snow pack might help but global warming will only worsen flow problems. Continues testimony against SB 820:

  • SB 820 circumvents existing state river protection laws and regulations that require any new use of water to be in the public interest
  • SB 820 is directly contrary to the state’s recovery goals as set forth in the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds
  • SB 820 amendments ignore the economic interests associated with keeping water instream
  • Oregon law already provides for the reservation of unallocated water for future economic development

195

Aubrey Russell

Oregon Trout. Expresses opposition to SB 820 and comments on conservation efforts for water use.

228

Chair Ferrioli

Encourages a work group. Closes public hearing on SB 820 and opens public hearings on SB 398.


 

SB 398 – PUBLIC HEARING

232

John Griffith

Coos County Commissioner. States support of SB 398 and -2 amendments.

240

Chair Ferrioli

Comments on SB 398 and asks if he objects to a trial period with one or two counties.

255

Griffith

Responds that it might be acceptable and explains.

260

Chair Ferrioli

Believes people are reluctant to give counties veto power over the acquisition of lands.

274

Griffith

Responds that the county commissioners can be voted out of office if they are not doing what the public desires.

278

Chair Ferrioli

Comments that local governing bodies should be engaged in any change in public land use patterns but the issue is that the legislature gave that authority away. Closes public hearing on SB 398 and opens public hearing on SB 591.

SB 591 – PUBLIC HEARING

301

John Griffith

Coos County Commissioner. States support for SB 591 and believes SB 399 and SB 591 could be merged.

312

John Chandler

Urban Developers Coalition; Oregon Building Industry Association. Expresses concern with SB 591 regarding the definition of compensatory wetlands mitigation for urban area development.

343

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if costs are added to the ability to mitigate by adding another administrative process over the creation of mitigation wetlands outside the urban growth boundary.

348

Chandler

Affirms.

359

Chair Ferrioli

Asks him to work with Griffith to find a solution and states that compensatory mitigation is authorized.

370

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator. Clarifies compensatory wetland mitigation in statute.

382

Chair Ferrioli

Clarifies in SB 591.

387

Harlan Levy

Oregon Association of Realtors. Provides testimony on SB 591. Expresses concern that it will be more difficult for developers of property to mitigate effects of wetlands.

406

Don Schellenberg

Oregon Farm Bureau. States supports for SB 591.

415

Chair Ferrioli

Closes public hearing on SB 591 and adjourns meeting at 5:07 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SB 499, SB 499-2 amendments dated 4/7/03, staff, 1 p.

B – SB 820, written testimony, Senator David Nelson, 4 pp.

C – SB 820, SB 820-2 amendments dated 4/1/03, staff, 2 pp.

D – SB 820, written testimony, Martha Pagel, 5 pp.

E – SB 820, written testimony, William Burke, 4 pp.

F – SB 820, written testimony, Kimberley Priestley, 4 pp.

G – SB 398, SB 398-2 amendments dated 3/31/03, staff, 1 p.

H – SB 398, written testimony, Scott Duckett, 1 p.

I – SB 398, written testimony, The Nature Conservancy, 2 pp.

J – SB 591, written testimony, The Nature Conservancy, 1 p.

K – SB 591, written testimony, Scott Duckett, 1 p.