Mining and Mining Claims

ORS 517.825
Mining aggregate on high-value farmland

  • requirements
  • rules


As used in this section, “significant aggregate resource” means the average minimum depth of aggregate, determined by rule of the Land Conservation and Development Commission, that is required for a local government to find that the aggregate resource is significant pursuant to a statewide land use planning goal that protects natural resources and conserves scenic, historic and open space resources.


When the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries issues an operating permit under ORS 517.790 (Operating permit required for surface mining on certain lands) for mining aggregate on high-value farmland composed predominantly of Class I and Class II soils in the Willamette Valley, the department shall require:


An operator or owner to excavate substantially all of the significant aggregate resource within the operating permit boundary, not including any buffer, setback and sloping areas:


To the extent that the removal of the significant aggregate resource can be done in a manner that is consistent with operating permit conditions imposed by the department; and


Subject to limitations imposed by other federal, state or local regulatory requirements.


An applicant to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that the operator or owner has the mechanical ability to comply with paragraph (a) of this subsection.


Performance of the requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection before approving final reclamation and closure of the mining operation, unless:


The operator or owner defaults as described in ORS 517.860 (Effect of failure to comply with operating permit or reclamation plan); or


Performance is not required due to changed conditions or new information that justify a permit modification under ORS 517.831 (Modification of operating permit or reclamation plan).


The acceptance by the department of a plan to mine in compliance with subsection (2)(a) of this section does not establish a depth standard for purposes of land use permits or authorizations.


The time limitations imposed on the department under ORS 517.830 (Operating permit approval process) do not apply to an application for an operating permit, or the transfer of a permit under ORS 517.833 (Transfer of operating permit), that is subject to this section.


This section does not require the operator or owner to provide bond or security to excavate to the permitted depth. [2013 c.706 §3]
§§ 517.750 to 517.901

Notes of Decisions

Department of Geology and Mineral Industries is not vested with exclusive jurisdiction over environmental regulation of mining lands, for such regulation is centralized in Division of State Lands pursuant to [former] ORS 541.610. State ex rel Cox v. Hibbard, 31 Or App 269, 570 P2d 1190 (1977)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Power of Department of Environmental Quality to regulate mining activities, (1972) Vol 35, p 1100

Law Review Citations

29 WLR 297 (1993)

Chapter 517

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Power of Department of Environmental Quality to regulate mining activities and recovery of oil and geothermal activities, (1972) Vol 35, p 1100

Law Review Citations

4 EL 370 (1974)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021