(1) No land within 100 feet of a perennial stream or intermittent stream or a stream reach with a biological community determined according to (3) may be disturbed by strip or underground mining operations, nor may the stream itself be disturbed, except as approved in accordance with ARM 17.24.634 through 17.24.637 and 17.24.751, upon finding by the department that:

(a) the original stream function will be restored in accordance with ARM 17.24.634 and 17.24.751; and

(b) during and after the mining, the water quantity and quality and other environmental resources of the stream and the lands within 100 feet of the stream will not be adversely affected.

(2) Any area not to be disturbed must be designated a buffer zone and marked as specified in ARM 17.24.524.

(3) A stream with a biological community is determined by the existence in the stream of an assemblage of two or more species of fish, amphibians, arthropods or mollusk that are:

(a) adapted to flowing water for all or part of their life cycle;

(b) dependent upon a flowing water habitat;

(c) reproducing or can reasonably be expected to reproduce in the water body where they are found; and

(d) these species must be longer than two millimeters at some stage of their life cycle spent in the flowing water habitat.

History: 82-4-204, MCA; IMP, 82-4-231, 82-4-232, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 725, Eff. 4/1/80; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 30, Eff. 1/13/89; TRANS, from DSL, 1996 MAR p. 3042.