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Planning for Sand and Gravel (Aggregate) Mining

Aggregate in the form of sand, gravel and crushed rock, is used to construct roads, foundations, buildings and many other structures. The materials for aggregate come from quarries on private and public land. State statutes and rules set the criteria for issuing local land use permits for aggregate sites. These criteria seek to minimize the impacts of aggregate mining on the environment and on neighbors. They are also designed so that a supply of aggregate material is available to serve the needs of Oregonians.

Aggregate and Goal 5

Aggregate is one of several natural resources addressed under Statewide Planning Goal 5, and more specifically in OAR 660-023-0180. This rule specifies a review and permitting process for cities and counties to follow. It describes standards and procedures to:

  • Identify significant resource sites;
  • Mitigate impacts from mining operations on existing uses in the vicinity of the mine; and
  • Implement a decision to allow mining.

The rule allows for protection of large, significant aggregate sites. Protection means that the local comprehensive plan and code supports long-term mining operations on the site. Protection is achieved by placing conditions on new residential and business development that occurs near the aggregate mining operation. The conditions specify that new businesses and residences accept the mining activities authorized by the local government.

Local Review of an Aggregate Mining Application

OAR 660-23-0180 lays out a four-step process for local review of an application for a new or expanding aggregate mine. The rule is concerned with the protection of large significant aggregate sites and any mining of aggregate on farmland. Some counties have incorporated these process steps and standards into their local comprehensive plans and zoning codes. Other counties apply the rule directly through the application review process.

After the Application is Locally Approved

Four state agencies regulate the development and operation of aggregate mining and processing projects in Oregon. The role that each plays depends on the scale, design, and associated impacts.

The primary agencies and their specialty areas are:

Contact

Amanda Punton
Natural Resource Specialist
amanda.punton@state.or.us
Phone: 971-673-0961

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