SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT & LAND USE

 

 

January 24, 2005                                                                                                     Hearing Room B

3:00 P.M.                                                                                                                        Tapes  6 – 7

Revised 03/04/2005

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Charlie Ringo, Chair

Sen.  Jason Atkinson, Vice-Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Ginny Burdick

Sen. Frank Shields

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Matt Shields, Committee Administrator

Katie Lowry, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

SB 179 – Public Hearing and Work Session

SB 185 – Public Hearing

SB 170 – 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 6, A

005

Chair Ringo

Calls committee to order at 3:06 p.m. Makes opening comments. States that SB 125 is now taken off the agenda. Opens public hearing on SB 179.

SB 179 – PUBLIC HEARING

020

Matt Shields

Committee Administrator. Explains the bill.

025

Phil Ward

Director, Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). Makes opening remarks.

030

Adam Sussman

Legislative Coordinator, OWRD. Introduces himself. Submits written testimony in support of SB 179 (EXHIBIT A).  Discusses the advantage of having information provided in a digital format.

045

Chair Ringo

Remarks that this bill is about efficiency.

048

Sussman

Confirms this.

050

Chair Ringo

Hearing no opposition, closes public hearing on SB 179 and opens work session on SB 179.

SB 179 – WORK SESSION

056

Sen. Atkinson

MOTION:  Moves SB 179 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

057

Chair Ringo

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Burdick

058

Chair Ringo

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. ATKINSON will lead discussion on the floor.

059

Chair Ringo

Closes work session on SB 179 and opens public hearing on SB 185.

SB 185 – PUBLIC HEARING

060

Phil Ward

Director, Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). Introduces himself.

062

Adam Sussman

Legislative Coordinator, OWRD. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT B). Discusses water rights, and explains SB 185.

075

Sen. Shields

Asks if there is variance in state regions.

080

Sussman

States that there is not.

085

Sen. Shields

Clarification.

090

Sen. Beyer

Points out a lack of emergency clause and inquires when it would take effect.

095

Ward

Confirms when the bill would take effect.

097

Sen. Beyer

Asks if this would affect water rights currently.

100

Ward

Offers to add emergency clause and offers to pass amendment in House.

105

Sen. Beyer

Discusses importance of adding an emergency clause.

110

Chair Ringo

Asks Sen. Beyer if he would prefer to hold the bill.

115

Sen. Beyer

Defers to Chair for decision.

120

Chair Ringo

Asks staff to get an amendment for bill.

125

Anita Winkler

Executive Director, Oregon Water Resources Congress. States support for bill. Explains it is unclear if bill is necessary but sees it as a good preventative measure.

130

Chair Ringo

Closes public hearing on SB 185 and opens public hearing on SB 170.

 

SB 170 – PUBLIC HEARING

140

Ann Hanus

Director, Department of State Lands (DSL). Submits written testimony in support of SB 170 (Exhibit C). Makes opening remarks regarding removal fill law. Gives reasoning for bill. Offers to work collaboratively with those who want amendments on the bill to resolve any differences.

180

John Lilly

Assistant Director, DSL. Makes opening comments. Submits and highlights written testimony (Exhibit D). States that reason for bill is an attempt to bring state law closer to federal law. Gives history of Oregon’s removal fill law. Talks about specifics of SB 170.

250

Chair Ringo

Asks about specifications and whether those are in the bill itself or in rules that the bill brings in.

258

Lilly

Clarifies that these specifications are in the bill itself.

260

Lilly

Talks about permits.

285

Lilly

Makes closing remarks.

290

Sen. Atkinson

Asks about buying a ranch with a pasture that’s been fallow for seven years and whether that means that the pasture has been abandoned according to this bill.  

295

Lilly

Explains when a permit would be necessary.

300

Sen. Atkinson

Inquires whether it would be considered abandoned if there was a cow on it.

305

Lilly

Confirms that it would not be considered abandoned.

307

Sen. Atkinson

States that with this scenario there would be several citizens in White City that would be in violation of the law.

310

Lilly

Asks to know more about the specific circumstances.

315

Sen. Atkinson

Asks how this is policed.

320

Lilly

States that it is policed by compliance monitoring by staff in the field and complaints from community.

325

Sen. Atkinson

States that if he didn’t like his neighbor, he could complain to DSL.

327

Lilly

Discusses how they receive and evaluate complaints.

330

Sen. Atkinson

Asserts that someone would need to pay the lawyer’s bills.

331

Lilly

Confirms that they would need to represent themselves or retain counsel.

332

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if he would like to comment on the case that is in the Court of Appeals that could be related to this bill.

335

Hanus

States that it would not be appropriate because they are in litigation.

340

Sen. Shields

Verifies that this is an illustrative list and not a comprehensive list, refers to (Exhibit D, Page 3). Asks what the process would look like. Asks how this new law is different from the old law.

360

Lilly

Talks specifically about regulated activities and importance of differentiating between the impact on an undisturbed wetland and a list of activities that would not require a permit.

390

Sen. Beyer

Asks what the problem is that this law would fix.

395

Lilly

Clarifies that there are some changes in current practices.

415

Sen. Beyer

Contends that what can and cannot be regulated on agricultural land is up for dispute and that is why they are in court. Specifies the issue of agriculture exemption.

425

Lilly

States that DSL is in a dispute because of a difference of opinion about what is permissible under law. Sees this bill as a chance to clear up the uncertainty.

435

Sen. Beyer

Expresses that agriculture exemptions are pretty clear for farmers as they are but states that this new law seems much less clear. Comments that this new law would delete the specifics that are required to be reported and make the report to the Legislature much more general.

TAPE 7, A

035

Lilly

States that all the pertinent aspects of the program would be reported on, refers specifically to permits.

050

Sen. Beyer

Asks how SB 170 ties into the 404 process and bill that was passed in SB 172 (2001).

055

Lilly

Speaks regarding SB 172 (2001) and how current bill ties into 404 process.

085

Sen. Betsy Johnson

District 16. Makes opening comments and introduces Dale Buck.

095

Dale Buck

Retired Tillamook County dairy farmer. Introduces himself and states opposition to SB 170. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT E). Clarifies specific points of opposition to bill.

155

Buck

Talks about “changing crops.” Expresses uncertainty about the language of the bill and urges committee to form work group and choose people who can work out some of these uncertainties. Makes closing remarks.

180

Sen. Johnson

Introduces herself. Offers to work with the work group. Remarks about language ambiguities. Requests to have someone from Tillamook County to sit with the work group who is knowledgeable about the effects on the environment.

205

Lynne Vanderlinden

Farmer, Southern Oregon. Introduces herself. Submits written testimony in opposition to SB 170 (EXHIBIT F).

250

Vanderlinden

Talks about DSL practices. Compares farmers making decisions and DSL making decisions. States that farmers are already regulated by federal government. Expresses concern about DSL’s “micromanagement” and rising fees. Speaks about specific language ambiguities in bill. Makes closing remarks.

300

Chair Ringo

Asks if witness is dissatisfied with current law.

305

Vanderlinden

Clarifies that she is upset with the way that DSL interprets the law, but not the actual law.

310

Chair Ringo

Asks if witness would be fine if committee killed the bill. Refers to testimony from Lilly. Asks if it is a good goal to try to expedite the permit process.

315

Vanderlinden

States that all the same agencies would still be involved in the permit process.

320

Chair Ringo

Asks if witness thinks they should kill the bill or have a work group.

325

Vanderlinden

Thinks a work group would not be beneficial.

350

Robert Kerivan

Farmer, Cave Junction, Oregon. Submits and reads written testimony in opposition to SB 170 (EXHIBIT G).

TAPE 6, B

055

Kerivan

Speaks about three trials and states that all three were ruled in favor of the farmers. DSL is attempting to appeal these court orders. Refers to examples given at end of testimony (Exhibit G).

080

Chair Ringo

Asks question regarding civil suit. Asks if state brought lawsuit or if witness brought it.

085

Kerivan

Clarifies that he brought lawsuit, but DSL is appealing. Speaks regarding DSL’s lawsuits.

095

Chair Ringo

Asks if witness would leave law as it is.

100

Kerivan

Confirms that he would.

101

Sen. Atkinson

Asks for clarification regarding two standards, one for Josephine County and one for the rest of the state.

105

Kerivan

States that there is one law in the state.

110

Keith Nelsen

Farmer and Chairman of the Josephine County Farm Bureau. Backs testimony of previous witnesses.

130

Liz Frenkel

League of Women’s Voters of Oregon. Makes opening comments. Urges committee to make work group public if one is formed. Makes comments regarding DSL. Specifies that the League does have specific concerns.

160

Sen. Beyer

Asks what the interest is of the League of Women’s Voters of Oregon.

165

Frenkel

States that their interest is in water quality and states that this bill is about water quality.

170

Sen. Beyer

Asks what the specific concerns are.

172

Frenkel

States that concern involves transfer of authority from Department of Environmental Quality to Division of State Lands. Mentions SB 54.

195

Scott Ashcom

Oregon Agricultural Alliance (OAA). Introduces himself. Submits and highlights written testimony asking for some amendments on bill (EXHIBIT H). Talks regarding agricultural bill in 1985. Offers to participate in the work group if one is formed and describes the questions that the bill addresses.

280

Chair Ringo

Asks if a bill is necessary to clarify these things or if they should kill the bill.

285

Ashcom

States that clarification is necessary and that the bill holds some necessary clarifications of current law to bring the current law back to the original intent.

295

Chair Ringo

Verifies that if there was a work group the witness would like to be a part of it.

300

Ashcom

Confirms this.

301

Chair Ringo

Asks what the OAA is and how their interests are different than the Oregon Farm Bureau.

305

Ashcom

Describes OAA.

310

Chair Ringo

Asks if members would be impacted differently than members of the Farm Bureau would be impacted.

315

Ashcom

Indicates that they would not. States that several members are affected by the way DSL is applying agricultural exemptions.

320

Chair Ringo

Asks if members of OAA have interest in outcome of lawsuit with DSL.

325

Ashcom

Confirms no monetary interest. Decision of Josephine County Court consistent with their interpretation of agricultural exemptions from current law.

327

Chair Ringo

Asks if witness believes Josephine County was correct.

328

Ashcom

Confirms this.

360

Doug Rosenberg

Tillamook Bay Habitat and Estuary Improvement District. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT I). Makes opening comments.

370

Chair Ringo

Asks if witness believes this bill needs the committee’s attention.

375

Rosenberg

Shares that preference is to see bill totally changed or scrapped. Gives background on Tillamook Bay Habitat Estuary Improvement District.

440

Rosenberg

Speaks about goals. Gives examples of accomplishments over the years. Talks about permits and the problems encountered. Refers to (EXHIBIT I) and talks about a potential project.

TAPE 7, B

030

Rosenberg

Relates story. Requests that one of their professional advisors and one of the members be included in the work group if one is formed.

060

Clarence Boquist

Retired dairyman, Tillamook. Introduces himself. States that there are several problems with the bill and states opposition. Relates personal testimony.

095

Bud Gienger

Farmer, Tillamook. Relates personal testimony with exemptions. States opposition to bill.

125

Rudy Fenk

Chairman, Tillamook Soil and Water Board. Introduces himself. Makes opening comments regarding soil in Tillamook County. Makes comments about permit process. Asks why the state does not help protect from erosion if they say they own the bottom of the rivers, the banks and gravel bars.

155

Sen. Beyer

Asks for clarification if he is opposed to bill.

157

Fenk

States that the law should stay the way it is because there are enough regulations.

165

Sen. Shields

Asks how many of the problems come from the regulations and how many come from the “forces of nature.”

170

Fenk

Conveys that it is necessary to work within the regulations, not get rid of them. Urges committee to leave the law the way it is.

190

Chair Ringo

Asks to hear response to the last hour of testimony.

195

Hanus

Clarifies that the proposal is not to remove exemptions but to make it more consistent. Offers again to sit down and talk through the bill with anyone who is interested.

205

Chair Ringo

Asks about specific example with the 50 cubic yards exemption. Asks if they would need a permit under the new law.

210

Hanus

Clarifies this exemption and refers to federal law.

215

Chair Ringo

Inquires that if the stream is not considered essential salmonid habitat that the exemption does apply.

218

Hanus

Confirms this.

220

Chair Ringo

Asks how many waterways there are that are not essential.

225

Lilly

Clarifies number.

235

Chair Ringo

Asserts that a change in exemption would affect the agricultural community.

240

Lilly

Reiterates intention to bring state law into consistency with federal law. Explains attempt to put a new type of  “no notice” permit into place.

270

Chair Ringo

Asks when they expect an answer on the court case.

271

Hanus

They are unsure when they can expect an answer.

275

Sen. Beyer

Has some technical questions about the bill. States that a work group would be a better arena for dealing with these questions.

285

Greg Addington

Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB). Introduces himself. Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT J).

290

Chair Ringo

Asks if a work group would be useful for this bill.

295

Addington

States that there are differences in interpretation of current state statutes. Expresses that a consensus might not be reached in a work group.

300

Chair Ringo

Asks if the testimony today reflects the broad interests of agricultural community.

305

Addington

Believes that members of OFB would prefer the status quo.

310

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if his members would be happy under the federal law.

315

Addington

Believes members would be happy living under the federal minimums.

320

Lilly

Addresses living under federal minimums. Identifies some differences between state and federal law.

345

Chair Ringo

Informs that a work group will not be formed.

365

Chair Ringo

Closes public hearing on SB 170. Adjourns meeting at 4:58 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SB 179, written testimony, Adam Sussman, 1 p

B.     SB 185, written testimony, Adam Sussman, 1 p

C.     SB 170, written testimony, Ann Hanus, 2 pp

D.    SB 170, written testimony, John Lilly, 14 pp

E.     SB 170, written testimony, Dale Buck, 1 p

F.      SB 170, written testimony, Lynne Vanderlinden, 2 pp

G.    SB 170, written testimony, Robert Kerivan, 9 pp

H.    SB 170, written testimony, Scott Ashcom, 2 pp

I.       SB 170, report with photos, Doug Rosenberg, 34 pp

J.      SB 170, written testimony, Greg Addington, 1 p