Legislative and Regulatory Update
May 2017 by Scott Harn
Oregon Senate passes Senate Bill 3
If you need more proof that having an organized Mining District can help you, look no further than the recently proposed Methow Headwaters Withdrawal in north-central Washington State.
The $800 million project will provide 300 jobs during production. It will be the only US mine where nickel is the primary targeted mineral, with about 360 million pounds to be extracted.
Since 2005, a group representing a handful of Oregon and Washington mining organizations, centered around the Eastern Oregon Mining Association (EOMA) and the Waldo Mining District (WMD), have been actively fighting the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) over their then new “700PM Suction Dredge Mining Permit.”
In May, 2016, the Andersons received a letter from Steve Niemela at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife requesting access to their property to conduct surveys for “foothill yellow-legged frogs and other amphibians.”
One of the most asinine proposals in the SEIR is to require miners to state when and where they will be dredging. This information would be accessible to the public, which would make them prime candidates for getting their homes burglarized while they are out mining.
We can’t say it wasn’t expected. The California Department of Fish & Game released revised suction gold dredging regulations on February 17, 2012, and it’s obvious the agency wants to make life as difficult as possible for dredgers.
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