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SB 838 Study Group

Background Information

Implementation of SB 838
SB 838, passed by the 2013 Oregon Legislature, pertains to suction dredging and the state’s Removal-Fill Law. There are several key provisions in the legislation that impact the Department of State Lands’ administration of the law:
·     It imposes a moratorium on suction dredging and other forms of motorized mining on certain streams in Oregon from Jan. 2, 2016 – Jan. 2, 2021. 
·      Between 2014 and 2016, there will be new operating restrictions and a cap of 850 authorizations annually. The operating restrictions include a 500-foot distance between equipment; operating hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; and a prohibition against leaving the equipment unattended in the waterway.
·     The moratorium and restrictions apply to rivers and tributaries that contain any portion of essential indigenous anadromous salmonid habitat (ESH), or naturally reproducing populations of bull trout. This is approximately 85 percent of the stream miles in Oregon.
DSL has revised administrative rules to comply with SB 838
The Department of State Lands has revised the General Authorization for Recreational Placer Mining within Essential Salmonid Habitat (141-089-0820 through -0835). The rules were effective on Jan. 1, 2014.  Rule revisions include:
·      The new operating restrictions 
·      How DSL will implement the limit on the number of authorizations.
SB 838 Study Group established
The bill directs the Governor’s Office to convene a study group to develop a revised state regulatory framework for suction dredging.  The framework must address compliance, protection, and a consolidated permit process. The Govenor's office will provide a report with recommendations to the legislature by Nov 1, 2014.
In March 2014, state natural resource agencies and the Governor’s Office contracted with Oregon Consensus neutral facilitator Kearns & West to convene and manage the study group. Members of the group represent conservation, mining, fishing, tribal, regulatory and governmental interests. At the first meeting on April 10, the study group will adopt operating principles and anticipated outcomes of their work.
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Meeting Dates and Materials

Proposed Meeting Dates:  May 8, June 12, July 17, Aug 14, Sept 11, Oct 9

Meeting Location:       Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
                                    Commission Room
                                    4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
                                    Salem, OR        

​April 10, 2014

4-10-14 Agenda
Draft Guiding Principles
Draft SB 838 Workplan
Summary of Section 8 handout
Legal Background
Revised Legal and Regulatory Framework​
Eastern Oregon Mining Association vs DEQ
Northwest Environmental Defense Center vs DEQ​​
California Coastal Commission vs Granite Rock Company​

May 8, 2014

5-8-14 Agenda
5-8-14 Meeting Summary​
Guiding Principles
Action Items and Meeting Summary​
Harvey & Lisle Paper 1998
California Fish & Wildlife Literature Review 2009​
Follow up Document SB 838 05-08 Study Group Meeting Project Team Response to Larry Knudsen
Follow up Document SB 838 05-08 Study Group Meeting Water Navagability Website
Follow up Document SB 838 05-08 Study Group Meeting Western Oregon Lamprey Concerns
SB 838 Study Group Operating Principles - (Final Adopted)​

June 12, 2014

6-12-14 Agenda
SB 838 Affects Miners Draft 2 Jan Thompson Presentation 6-12-14 Meeting
Oregon Mining Tom Kitchar Presentation 6-12-14 Meeting​
Geomorphology of Sunction Dredging Jamie Castro Presentation 6-12-14 Meeting
Castro Sunction Dredging Screening Matrix 2014
Thorne et al 2014 Risk Matrix Article
Castro et al 2014 Pipeline Crossings Article
GIS Maps and Analysis Justin Russell and Erin Gilbert Presentation 6-12-14 Meeting​
Harvey and Lisle 1999 Chinook Redds Sunction Dredging​
Haschenburger and Wilcock 2003 Partial Transport
Thomas 1985 Experimental Impacts of Dredging in Montana
Action Items Memo and Meeting Summary​

July 17, 2014

7/17/14 Proposed Agenda 
Conceptual Management Zone Approach - Russ Stauff presentation
AIS Suction Dredge – Martyne Reesman presentation
SB 838 GIS Prohibitions – Justin Russell presentation​
Action Items Memo and Meeting Summary

August 14, 2014

8/14/14 Proposed Agenda
Lt Gifford Enforcement Presentation
DRAFT SB 838 Workplan
Oregon State Marine Board
Action Items Memo and Meeting Summary​

September 11, 2014

9/11/14 Proposed Agenda​

October 9, 2014

Action Items Memo and Meeting Summary SB 838 9-11-14
Proposed Agenda SB 838 Meeting 10-09-14
SB 838 Proposed Approach for Consideration 10-09-14
SB 838 Study Group – Revised Objectives 10-09-14
SB 838 Study Group Final Draft Concepts – Response to Study Group 10-09-14​

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Additional Information

Study Group Participants
SB 838
Recreational Placer Mining​
Study Group Roster​
DEQ-DSL In-Water Placer Mining Authorizations Calander Year 2011-2013​

​Materials Submitted by Members
Overview/Topic​ ​Submitted by ​Date ​Materials

Comments submitted by the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and other environmental, conservation and recreational groups to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality regarding the current Clean Water Act NPDES permit for suction dredge mining. The latest set of comments (April 2014) with 8 exhibits are included.  


​Marla Nelson​



Draft 700PM
Exhibit 1
Exhibit 2
Exhibit 3
Exhibit 4
Exhibit 5​
Exhibit 6
Exhibit 7
Exhibit 8
Renewal Comments​

Overview/Topic​ ​Submitted by ​​Date ​Materials

This is the 2005 study that Washington Dept of Ecology conducted to determine the effects of small scale dredging.


Tom Kitchar


Effects of Small-Scale Gold Dredging on Arsenic, Copper, Lead and Zinc Concentrations in the Simikameen River​

Overview/Topic​ ​Submitted by ​​Date ​Materials

This study was done at the request of the Siskiyou NF by Peter Bayley, OSU. The study looked at the cumulative effects from suction dredge mining in the Illinois River Sub-Basin, an area with probably the highest concentrations of suction dredge operations in the state. GO TO PAGES 14 & 15 FOR CONCLUSIONS.


Scott Atkinson



Cumulative Effects - Baley Study 04-03​


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Department of State Lands
Bill Ryan
Assistant Director,Wetland and Waterways Conservation Division
Governor’s Office
Brett Brownscombe
Natural Resources Policy Advisor
Kearns & West, Inc.
Debra Nudelman
Facilitation Team ​
503-221-1650, ext. 1305
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