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Oregon issues new permit for suction-dredge gold miners

 August 03, 2010, The Oregonian by Scott Learn
Oregon issued a new permit for small-scale gold miners today, tougher than the old one but still largely self-enforcing.

The permit from the Department of Environmental Quality covers instream miners who use small suction dredges to vacuum streambeds and extract gold.
Given record high prices for gold and temporary ban on suction dredging in California, environmental groups expect more mining on Oregon rivers this summer.

Through July, 1,205 miners were actively registered for 2010, up from 934 last year, DEQ says. The number of California miners registered rose from 51 to 85.

The new permit has stricter regulations on how much silt miners can kick up in the water, known as turbidity. It also requires miners to keep records of their activity.
But miners don't have to submit those records for public review or specify where they plan to mine when applying for the $25 permit. The DEQ defers enforcement to state police, who have warned that turbidity restrictions will be difficult to enforce.
New permit applications are due by Aug. 30.
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