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Suction Dredge Mining Rulemaking - Implementation of Senate Bill 838
Background Information
SB838​ 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 operating 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. The moratorium will apply to the same waterways, but only above the lowest extent of spawning habitat.
·      The bill directs the Governor’s Office to convene a work group to develop a revised state regulatory framework for suction   dredging. The framework must address compliance, protection, and a consolidated permit process. Recommendations from this work group must be provided to the legislature by Nov. 1, 2014.
DSL must revise rules to comply with SB 838
Authorizations for the 2014 and 2015 operating seasons will require a revision to the Department of State Lands’ General Authorization for Recreational Placer Mining within Essential Salmonid Habitat (141-089-0820 through 0835). The rules must be in effect by Jan. 1, 2014. Rule revisions will include:
·      The new operating restrictions.  
·      How DSL will implement the limit on the number of authorizations. The bill states that priority will be given to applicants that have held a permit for the longest period of time before Jan. 1, 2014.      
Rulemaking Schedule
Sept. 5, 2013 Removal-Fill Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
​Sept. 13, 2013 ​Draft Rules Completed
​Sept. 23, 2013 Informational Public Meeting - Medford
​Medford Library
​205 S Central Ave, Medford
Sept  25, 2013 Informational Public Meeting - Salem
​Dept. of State Lands, Land Board Room
​775 Summer St NE, Salem
​Oct. 1, 2013 ​Public Notice and Comment Period for Proposed Rules Opens
Oct. 17, 2013 Public Hearing - Baker City
​City Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 201
​1655 First St, Baker City
Oct. 21, 2013 Public Hearing - Salem
​Dept. of State Lands, Land Board Room
​775 Summer St NE, Salem
Oct. 23, 2013 Public Hearing - Grants Pass
​Redwood Grange
​1830 Redwood Ave, Grants Pass
​Oct. 31, 2013 Public Comment Period Ends
​Nov. 29, 2013 ​Prepare Final Rule
​Jan. 1, 2014 ​Effective Date of Rule
Anita Huffman, Staff Lead for Suction Dredging Rulemaking
(503) 986-5250                                
Lori Warner-Dickason, Rulemaking Project Manager
(503) 986-5271