(Read permit carefully for all terms and conditions)
Persons assigned to this permit may not operate a suction dredge more than 16 horsepower or with an inside diameter intake nozzle greater than four inches in essential salmon habitat. In addition to only operating during daylight hours (time from sunrise to sunset) suction dredging is allowed only during the in-water work schedule (Timing of In-Water Work to Protect Fish and Wildlife Resources) as set by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The 700PM permit does not authorize suction dredge mining outside of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's in-water work period.
Anyone seeking a waiver to the in-water work period must apply for and obtain a site-specific individual permit from DEQ prior to undertaking the mining activity. It typically takes a minimum of six months for DEQ to issue an individual permit due to public notice and review requirements.
Suction dredging is not allowed in state scenic waterways. No wastewater discharges are allowed where the visible turbidity plume affects the intake of a drinking water source from any placer mining operation. Measures must be taken to prevent the spreading of invasive species.
Suction dredges must operate at a distance 500 feet upstream from any stream segment listed as water quality limited for sedimentation, turbidity or toxics other than chlorine. The applicable 303(d) list is the 303(d) list approved or established by EPA that is in effect as of January 1 of each year.
Suction dredge operations are required to keep records and report annually.
Placer Mining on Tribal Lands
Assignment of 700PM general permit coverage does not authorize discharges to surface waters from suction dredge mining operations on tribal lands. The State of Oregon does not have jurisdiction to regulate surface water discharges on tribal lands; that authority lies with either the tribe or the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In addition, assignment under the 700PM general permit does not authorize discharges from mining operations into waterways that constitute a boundary of a tribal reservation. Mining in these waters would require an individual discharge permit from DEQ to ensure that tribal water quality standards are protected.
Resource Materials for 700PM Application and General Permit
Applicants should submit an application at least 30 days (or more) in advance of the date to start a suction dredging operation.
Follow the links below to find information useful for filling out an application to register under the 700PM general permit, and for complying with the permit conditions. If you apply to register for 700PM coverage to suction dredge, you must use the Interactive Location Mapping Tool (link below) to determine
(2) Township, Range, and Section;
(3) Latitude and Longitude;
(4) name of stream/state water;
(5) Oregon State Scenic Waterways;
(6) Essential Salmon Habitat;
(7) tribal lands/boundary waters;
(8) water quality limited stream segments 303(d) listed for sedimentation, turbidity, or toxics (except chlorine); and
(9) 12 wilderness areas with limited discharge (no visible turbidity allowed) for mining site locations and prevent applications from being returned due to incomplete or inaccurate information.
Also for mining site locations, you can provide the mining claim name (if any but not required). The Interactive Location Mapping Tool may not be suitable to determine land ownership, so you may need to determine whether private or public land and what type of public land from other information sources not provided here. DEQ has improved the Interactive Location Mapping Tool to include moratorium-restricted waters (details provided in Moratorium section above) where motorized suction dredges are prohibited and allowed to mine.
Follow the links below to find information useful for filling out an application to register under the 700PM general permit, and for complying with the permit conditions.
Other Resource Materials
You may also need a general authorization or removal-fill permit from the Oregon Department of State Lands in addition to DEQ's 700PM permit
In addition to needing a DEQ permit for mining activities on federal lands must be conducted in compliance with the DEQ permit and with any additional terms or conditions established by a federal agency. Before undertaking mining activities on federal lands in Oregon, miners should contact the appropriate federal district office to see if there are any restrictions or conditions regarding mining activities or access to areas where mining will take place. Requirements may differ from one district to another.