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Calportland Named Outstanding Mine Operator


Cobb Rock Quarry, owned and operated by CalPortland Company has been named the outstanding mine operator by Oregon's Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Cobb Rock Quarry, owned and operated by CalPortland Company has been named the outstanding mine operator by Oregon's Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. The award is based on the neat, orderly, stable and safe development of the site.

"We're very proud of our people and their record of safe and environmentally responsible management of Cobb Rock Quarry," said Scott Nicholson, CalPortland's director of aggregates for the Northwest Division. "This award is really about recognizing their hard work every day to ensure our operation not only runs smoothly, but also meets all the environmental requirements."

The agency said that Cobb Rock was chosen based on its long record of voluntary reclamation, a well-planned and implemented operation and outstanding compliance record with that agencyís and the Department of Environmental Quality permits issued.

"These awards are an important recognition to those owners and operators that go beyond the basic requirements of rules and regulations," said Vicki S. McConnell, state geologist and director of the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. "By using innovative ideas and responsible techniques of reclamation they are working to improve the environment and be good neighbors."

The Cobb Rock Quarry is located west of Beaverton. Mining began at the site 51 years ago. In 1972, 87 acres were determined to be eligible to be limited exempt status, which allowed mining within a boundary established prior to 1972. The limited exempt status for the site was first granted in 1974 and remained in effect until 1986. A new operating permit was issued that year to expand the quarry beyond the original 1972 boundary.

The first agency inspection report for the site, issued in August 1974, indicated the quarry had an excellent long-term development plan, that all soils were being stock-piled for later use in reclamation and that trees had been planted along the site's property line to provide visual screening for neighbors.

A 1980 inspection report noted that, although reclamation was not required, it was being conducted in mined out areas concurrently as mining was progressing in other areas. This voluntary reclamation continues today. Overburden from new mining areas is spread over mined-out areas and vegetation is planted, which limits the area within the mine that is disturbed at any one time.

A buffer of material has been left undisturbed above the groundwater aquifer beneath the mine. A storm-water control system has been established and improved over the years to effectively contain and control surface water at the site.