Oregon Statutes - Chapter 517 - Mining and Mining Claims - Section 517.860 - Effect of failure to comply with operating permit or reclamation plan; department may perform work and assess costs against bond or security.

(1) If, from inspections conducted pursuant to ORS 517.850 or from any other source, the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries determines that the operator has not complied with or is not complying with the operating permit, the reclamation plan, the provisions of this chapter or the rules of the department, the department may issue either or both of the following to the operator:

(a) Written notice of the violation. The notice shall specifically outline the deficiencies.

(b) A compliance order. The order may specify a date by which the operator shall rectify any deficiencies. The department may extend the period if delays occasioned for causes beyond the operatorís control necessitate more time, but only when the operator is, in the opinion of the department, making a reasonable effort to comply with the order.

(2) The department may recover against the bond or alternative form of financial security and reclaim the area affected by surface mining if the department determines that an operator:

(a) Has failed to comply with a department order issued under subsection (1) of this section;

(b) Fails to complete reclamation in conformance with the reclamation plan on any segment of the permitted site or fails to complete reclamation in a timely manner; or

(c) Fails to maintain an operating permit and pay all fees required under ORS 517.800.

(3) If the department makes a claim on the bond or security filed pursuant to ORS 517.810, the surety on the bond or holder of the other security shall pay to the department the amount of the bond or other security required. The department may reclaim the surface-mined land in a manner determined by the department, including by public or private contractor. If the amount is not paid within 30 days, the Attorney General, upon request of the department, shall institute proceedings to recover the amount.

(4) If the landowner has given security as provided in ORS 517.810 (3) and the operator is in default as specified in subsection (2) of this section, the landowner shall be held responsible for complying with the reclamation plan of the operator. The department shall furnish written notice of the default to the landowner and require the landowner to complete the reclamation as specified in the operatorís reclamation plan acceptable to the department. If the landowner has not commenced action to rectify the deficiencies within 30 days after receiving notice, or if the landowner fails to diligently pursue reclamation in conformance with the plan, the department may demand payment of the amount of the bond or other security from the surety or other holder and otherwise proceed as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

(5) The department, in performing reclamation of surface-mined land, shall pursue a goal for reclamation designed to:

(a) Remove hazards;

(b) Protect from drainage problems and from pollution;

(c) Meet local land use requirements for reclamation; and

(d) Comply with all federal and state laws.

(6) The department may delay, for a reasonable time not to exceed one year, all or part of any reclamation activities if the department determines that it is likely that:

(a) Marketable mineral reserves exist at the permitted site; and

(b) A new operator will seek an operating permit for the site and assume all reclamation responsibilities. [1971 c.719 §10; 1975 c.724 §6; 1977 c.59 §3; 1983 c.497 §2; 1985 c.291 §3; 1997 c.183 §1; 1999 c.353 §6; 1999 c.492 §5; 2007 c.318 §11]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008