Mining and Mining Claims
(1)In addition to any other sanction authorized by law, the governing board of the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries may impose a civil penalty of not less than $200 per day and not more than $50,000 per day for any violation of ORS 517.952 (Definitions for ORS 517.952 to 517.989) to 517.989 (Rules applicable to consolidated application), of any rules adopted under those provisions, of any orders issued under those provisions or of any conditions of a permit issued under those provisions. A penalty may be imposed under this subsection without regard to whether the violation occurs on property covered by a permit issued under ORS 517.952 (Definitions for ORS 517.952 to 517.989) to 517.989 (Rules applicable to consolidated application).
(2)(a) In addition to any other sanction authorized by law, and subject to the limitations of paragraph (b) of this subsection, the governing board of the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries may impose a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per day for any violation of ORS 517.702 (Legislative findings) to 517.740 (Rules), 517.750 (Definitions for ORS 517.702 to 517.989) to 517.901 (Confidentiality of production records, mineral assessments and trade secrets) and 517.905 (Applicability of ORS 517.910 to 517.989 and 517.910 to 517.951) to 517.951 (Legislative intent not to assume exclusive jurisdiction), of any rules adopted under those provisions, of any orders issued under those provisions or of any conditions of a permit issued under those provisions.
(b)A penalty may be imposed under this subsection only if a landowner or operator fails to complete erosion stabilization as required by ORS 517.775 (Permit fee for certain landowners and operators) or board rules adopted to implement that section, if the operator has failed to comply with an order issued under ORS 517.860 (Effect of failure to comply with operating permit or reclamation plan) or 517.880 (Order for suspension of surface mining operation operating without required permit), if the operation is being conducted in violation of conditions imposed on an operating permit or reclamation plan pursuant to ORS 517.835 (Conditions on operating permit or reclamation plan to prevent impact on ground water) or if the operation is being conducted:
(A)Without a permit;
(B)Outside the permit boundary; or
(C)Outside a permit condition regarding boundaries, setbacks, buffers or the placement of surface mining refuse.
(3)Civil penalties under this section shall be imposed in the manner provided by ORS 183.745 (Civil penalty procedures).
(4)Failure to pay a civil penalty that has become final under this section shall be grounds for revocation of any permit issued under ORS 517.702 (Legislative findings) to 517.989 (Rules applicable to consolidated application) to the person against whom the penalty has been assessed.
(5)Any civil penalty received by the State Treasurer under this section shall be deposited in the General Fund to the credit of the Geology and Mineral Industries Account and is continuously appropriated to the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries to the extent necessary for the administration and enforcement of the laws, rules and orders under which the penalty was assessed.
(6)A reclamation fund shall be established into which funds not used as described in subsection (5) of this section shall be deposited. This money shall be used by the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries for the purpose of the reclamation of abandoned mine and drill sites.
(7)When a single incident violates statutes, rules, board orders or permit conditions administered by more than one agency, the department shall coordinate with the other agencies having civil penalty authority before imposing a civil penalty.
(8)In implementing this section, the department shall adopt rules that provide civil penalties that are commensurate with the severity of violations.
(9)A civil penalty may be imposed against the board of directors and high managerial agents of a corporation if those persons engage in, authorize, solicit, request, command or knowingly tolerate the conduct for which the penalty is to be imposed. As used in this subsection, “agent” and “high managerial agent” have the meanings given those terms in ORS 161.170 (Criminal liability of corporations). [1991 c.735 §24c; 1993 c.341 §1; 1997 c.183 §4; 2001 c.262 §1; 2003 c.470 §3; 2007 c.318 §14; 2013 c.371 §26]
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)