Weekly Update 2/11/21

TUESDAY WATER REPORT 

February 9, 2021 

Current WAG HOLDINGS LLC APPLICATION G-18843 STATUS

On 6 Month Administrative Hold #2 which expires July 5, 2021 

CALL TO ACTION:

We have been advised by our Water Attorney that we need you to email OWRD and submit your comments in opposition. Doing so will continue to “Build the Case” against permitting an irrigation well on top of Chehalem Mountain.  You are encouraged to write often as new information is released to help build our case.  

Information on Weekly Key Talking Points to write your email comments & email addresses are below 

BRIEF BACKGROUND:

On October 21, 2019, Pacific Hydro Geology Inc, submitted an application to Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) on behalf of their client WAG Holdings, LLC for a permit to use groundwater. Application G-18843. 

On August 28, 2020 the Applicant filed an “amended well location” which moved the proposed location of the well 1,170 ft north on the property. 

OWRD will issue a PR0POSED FINAL ORDER (PFO) to either APPROVE or DENY the well if the Applicant does the following: 

  • Supplies required condition information 
  • Requests the hold be lifted, and OWRD approves, OWRD will then issue an application.  If the PFO status change is to APPROVE, there is a 45 day period to file a PROTEST.  Normally, OWRD may not allow further PUBLIC COMMENTS following the PFO. 

However, in this case: 

  • The Applicant has not responded to OWRD request for additional information they required WAG Holdings, LLC to submit by July 26, 2020.  
  • On August 28, 2020, the Applicant filed an AMENDED WELL LOCATION moving the proposed location 1,170 feet north on the property. 
  • Hydraulic interference with a Chehalem Creek in the original INITIAL REVIEW cited the need for a DIVISION 33 REVIEW to evaluate effects on Sensitive, Threatened or Endangered fish.  Changing the proposed location only serves to increase the chance for similar interference with 3 tributaries of Mc Fee Creek on the north side of Chehalem Mt. 

KEY TALKING POINTS & EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR OWRD:

TO:         Kim French, OWRD Water Rights Application Specialist  Kim.R.French@Oregon.gov 

CC:         Alyssa Mucken, OWRD Water Rights Section Manager  Alyssa.M.Mucken@Oregon.gov 

Subject Line:   Application G-18843 Please Add to the File 

Comments submitted to OWRD need to be positive and supportive so that staff will consider them a valuable resource to enhance their review and evaluation making them think more about whether or not the application does or does not meet their standards of approval. 

The August 28, 2020, amended well location is a sticking point that should be used at this time as OWRD Engineers and Hydrologists will be reviewing the new well location.  Therefore, asking them to open another general comment period should be a part of any comments you write to the department. 

At this time, asking your comments be a part of the application “File” is appropriate language.  If it is in the file, it will be considered part of the “Record” for later proceedings.  If we can continue to “Build the Record” it will likely take OWRD longer to process the application giving Save Chehalem Mountain more time to prepare for a potential Protest and Contested Case Process. 

To read what other Residents/Businesses have already stated click here: https://apps.wrd.state.or.us/apps/wr/wrinfo/wr_public_comment.aspx?workflow_id=556450 

MORE INFORMATION / APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS – RESEARCH: 

Water Well Owners Handbook – A guide to water wells in Oregon 

Provides general information about: Groundwater, Water Wells, Protection of Groundwater, Well Construction, Operation & Maintenance, Safe Drinking Water Supply, Water Well Abandonment, Oregon Rules & Statutes on Water Wells. 

As Chehalem Mountain residents are already well owners/users, the maintenance portion (pg 28) provides information on well performance, testing (from when & how to interpreting results) contamination and treatment options.  

Thinking about selling or know someone looking to relocate on Chehalem Mt?  Check out pg 39 regarding Buying or Selling Property with a Well. 

You can receive a Water Well Owner’s Handbook if you request well identification tag from OWRD.  Both are Free and a well tag is required if you sell your property.  The Well Identification Label Program began in 1996, requiring that all wells drilled, altered, deepened, or converted have a well ID label attached to the well head by the well constructor. 

Most wells constructed prior to 1996 have yet to be assigned a well ID label number.  Find out more 

Link to Water Well Handbook:  View Water Well Handbook 

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