Oregon Dept. of State Lands
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News Release
State seeking comments on proposed rules for mitigating loss of wetlands, streams - 11/01/18

Upcoming meetings in Bend, Salem, and Astoria will offer the public an opportunity to comment on proposed updates to Oregon’s requirements for mitigating loss of wetlands and streams.  

Oregon protects wetlands and waters for their environmental and societal benefits, such as cleaning water, helping control floods, and providing fish and wildlife habitat. The proposed rules would change how the benefits provided by wetlands and waters are replaced when there are unavoidable impacts of development or other activities. 

Oregon’s current requirements focus on replacing affected acres – an approach that studies show has led to a nationwide loss of the benefits that wetlands and waters provide. Existing state law and new national standards require replacing benefits lost, not only acres lost. The proposed changes will better align Oregon’s mitigation approach with the national standard to improve outcomes for communities and the environment. 

An overview of the proposed changes will be provided in a webinar on Nov. 8 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. To access the live webinar or view the recorded webinar, visit the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) website. There will be a question and answer period during the webinar, but formal public comment will not be accepted at that time. 

The overview will also be provided during three meetings to hear public comment: 

  • Nov. 15, 4:30-6 p.m. at the Deschutes County Road Department, Large Conference Room, 61150 SE 27th St., Bend, Ore.
  • Nov. 20, 4:30-6 p.m. at the Department of State Lands, Land Board Room, 775 Summer St NE, Salem, Ore. 
  • Nov. 28, 4:30-6 p.m. at Hampton Inn & Suites, 201 39th St., Astoria, Ore. 

Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Comments must be received by this time and date to be considered. Written comments may be submitted online, by email to rules@dsl.state.or.us or by mail to DSL Rules Coordinator, 775 Summer Street NE, Suite 100, Salem, Oregon 97301. 

DSL developed the draft rules with the guidance of a rulemaking advisory committee that included representatives from the businesses and organizations most likely to be affected by a new approach to compensating for wetland and stream losses, as well as representatives of state and local governments. 

The draft rules, advisory committee roster, and additional information are on the DSL website.

This new approach to compensating for wetland and stream losses will be collaboratively implemented by DSL, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.