(1) Affected parties, who are owners of an interest in real property or individuals who reside within an area subject to property damage or safety hazards related to the use of explosives by an operator may file a signed and dated complaint related to use of explosives associated with hard rock mining or exploration activities as follows:

(a) Complaints must be filed in writing with the department.

(b) Complaints must include the following information:

(i) name, mailing address, street address and phone number of the person or persons filing complaint;

(ii) statement of interest in real property or identification of residence within an area subject to property damage or safety hazards related to use of explosives;

(iii) name of person or company using explosives, if known;

(iv) detailed location of explosives use;

(v) date and time of use;

(vi) if property damage is alleged, type of damage including:

(A) type of structure;

(B) nature of damage;

(C) age of structure;

(D) rationale for correlating damage to use of explosives; and

(vii) if safety hazard is alleged, type of safety hazard.

(c) The department shall respond to all complaints by notifying each person who files a complaint whether the department considers the complaint to be credible. A credible complaint is a complaint addressing all requirements listed in (b) in a manner that is not false or without basis on its face.

(2) The department shall promptly investigate a credible complaint by:

(a) immediately providing the operator with a copy of a credible complaint;

(b) documenting the alleged damage or safety hazard with photographs and engineering reports and interviews as appropriate;

(c) requesting and evaluating all available information from the operation allegedly responsible for the problem;

(d) investigating concurrent activity which may have caused or contributed to the problem identified;

(e) conducting appropriate tests, which may include, but are not limited to:

(i) seismograph and airblast monitoring;

(ii) geologic investigation; and

(iii) evaluation of the structural integrity of the structure; and

(f) making written findings, including, if possible, a determination of whether any of the standards in ARM 17.24.159(2)(f)(i), (2)(k)(i), and (2)(o)(iii) were exceeded.

(3) The department shall mail a copy of its written findings to the complainant and the operator.


History: 82-4-321, MCA; IMP, 82-4-356, MCA; NEW, 1990 MAR p. 1470, Eff. 7/27/90; TRANS, from DSL, 1996 MAR p. 2852; AMD, 2022 MAR p. 1830, Eff. 9/24/22.