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Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation Program
News and Announcements
12/16/2014 - Thomas Ferrero will join the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) as the Assistant Director responsible for leading the Mineral Land Regulation & Reclamation Program. news release

06/27/2014 - Companies honored with Mined Land Reclamation Awards; Special Recognition Award given to Bob Short, tireless industry advocate. news release | MLR Awards

04/15/2014 - Division 35 and 37 rule revisions for Surface Mining are complete and posted.

Permits / Forms
MLRR Permits and Forms
 

Chemical Process Mining
Calico Grassy Mountain information / meetings

Chemical Process Mining Permitting Process

List of Notices of Intent to submit a Consolidated Application as received by the Department

General Information
Business office:
229 Broadalbin Street SW
Albany, OR 97321
Phone: (541) 967-2039
Fax: (541) 967-2075
Email: info@mlrr.oregongeology.com

Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation Program Financial Reports
As the regulatory program for surface and metal mining and oil, gas and geothermal energy extraction the DOGAMI-MLRR Program is financed primarily through fees assessed during the application, operation, and reclamation activities.

During the 2005 Legislative Assembly the DOGAMI-MLRR Division 30 aggregate operations fees were restructured. Renewal fees for small operations were lowered, and annual production fee assessment was linked directly to tonnage produced. Click below for reports of revenues and expenses for the MLRR Program.

MLRR Revenues and Expenses

Mined Land Reclamation Awards
Each year the MLRR office, with an independent panel of experts, selects specific mine sites and operators to receive awards for outstanding reclamation, mine operation and fish habitat protection. This year’s awards, based on an operator’s performance during the 2009 calendar year, will be presented at the Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association (OCAPA) annual conference.

Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation Program Overview
Mining in Oregon creates both important public benefits and at times deep public concerns. The vast majority of mining sites in this state are aggregate mines. Aggregate is the main ingredient in concrete and asphalt pavement and is used as a base on which roads and buildings are placed. Other important uses include gravel roads, dams, landscaping, drainage control, landfills, mortar, sanding icy roads, and railroad ballast. Total annual aggregate production in Oregon is approximately 52,000,000 cubic yards. There is also significant diatomaceous earth production, an industrial mineral with a variety of commercial uses. There are no active commercial metal or coal mines in the state.

At the same time population growth has increased demand, a variety of resource concerns have affected the location and operation of mine sites. In-stream gravel removal, for example, is decreasing as the need for protection of salmon increases. Available aggregate sources located within floodplains now require more stringent environmental regulation to protect adjacent resources such as wetlands and wildlife habitat and floodplain stability. Agricultural areas along rivers previously used for round rock aggregate production are being reduced to conserve prime farmlands. Quarries that are located above the floodplain and away from urban areas encounter steep, potentially unstable slopes, wildlife and fishery habitat concerns. As the size of new and existing sites increases, groundwater is more frequently encountered which requires monitoring and protection. The flooding and landslides experienced during 1996 point out that as the industry moves to new locations, quality of life issues and new environmental challenges must be addressed.

Over the recent years the Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation Program (MLRR) has become the lead program for mine regulation in Oregon. The program is a fee-based statewide (except Columbia County and tribal lands) program with authority to regulate all upland and underground mining on all lands by issuing an Operating Permit. In addition, the program implements the federal Clean Water Act General Stormwater Permit and the state Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) Permit at aggregate mine sites based upon an agreement with DEQ. MLRR works with the industry and the public to minimize the impacts of mining and optimize the opportunities for reclamation. The number one issue for the program is floodplain mining and its relationship to off-site resources including the potential for habitat restoration.

The program is staffed with 8 full-time employees and several temporary staff. The MLRR currently has 816 active DOGAMI permits and 201 Stormwater and WPCF permits. The Staff conducted 1825 (1281 on the ground and 544 aerial) site inspections in 1997-99 biennium.

Over the course of the last biennium, the program opened 84 sites and closed 60. Currently 5807 acres (~ 9 square miles) are under reclamation bond and 2560 acres have been reclaimed to a variety of uses since the program was initiated in 1972.

In Oregon the eligibility for a parcel of land to be mined rests with land-use authority, most commonly a county. The land-use authority establishes the secondary beneficial use to which the land must be reclaimed. The DOGAMI-MLRR permit has two main functions. It insures that when mining occurs, off-site impacts are minimized and the site is mined in a way that guarantees the reclamation will be completed.

To obtain a permit, a company or individual submits an application that contains a mine plan, a reclamation plan, appropriate baseline information characterizing the existing environment, and an application fee.

The program has an effective field inspection program that now also incorporates aerial photography. This inspection program is critical to maintaining compliance and maintaining a positive working relationship with the regulated community. In addition, the MLRR has two important non-regulatory tools; the Best Management Practices Manual and the Annual Mined Lands Reclamation Awards Program.

Statewide training and assistance for mine operators in mine site reclamation is an important aspect of the public education efforts. Regular workshops and the publication of a "Best Management Practices" manual by DOGAMI´s reclamation specialists has been used by other states and the staff has received national honors for technical expertise and leadership in reclamation.