(1) After salvage, soil must be immediately redistributed according to the requirements of (5) and (6) on areas graded to the approved postmining topography.

(2) Salvaged soil must be stockpiled if graded areas are not immediately available for redistribution. Soil stockpiles must be located where they will not be disturbed by mining operations and will not be lost to wind or water erosion. Compaction, contamination, and degradation of stockpiles must be minimized. Stockpiled soil must not be rehandled until replaced on regraded areas, unless authorized by the department.

(3)(a) Inactive soil stockpiles must be seeded or planted with an effective cover of non-noxious, quick-growing, annual and/or perennial plants during the first normal period favorable for planting.

(b) Active stockpiles or stockpiles that will be used within one year do not require seeding. However, other measures must be taken as necessary to minimize erosion.

(4) Prior to redistribution of soil or soil substitutes, regraded areas must be:

(a) sampled and analyzed to determine the physicochemical nature of the surficial spoil material in accordance with ARM 17.24.313(1)(h)(xi);

(b) scarified on the contour to a minimum 12-inch depth, unless otherwise approved by the department upon a determination that the purpose of this subsection will be met, to eliminate any possible slippage potential at the soil/spoil interface, to relieve compaction, and to promote root penetration and permeability of spoils. If no adverse effects to the redistributed material or postmining land use will occur, such treatments may be conducted after the soil or soil substitute is replaced.

(5) The operator shall, during and after redistribution, prevent, to the extent possible, spoil and soil compaction, protect against soil erosion, contamination, and degradation, and minimize the deterioration of the biological properties of the soil.

(6) Soil must be redistributed in a manner that achieves thicknesses consistent with soil resource availability and appropriate for the postmining vegetation, land uses, contours, and surface water drainage systems.

(7) Redistributed soil must be reconditioned by subsoiling or other appropriate methods approved by the department. Soil reconditioning must be done on the contour, whenever possible.

History: 82-4-205, MCA; IMP, 82-4-232, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 725, Eff. 4/1/80; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 30, Eff. 1/13/89; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 2957, Eff. 11/11/94; TRANS, from DSL, 1996 MAR p. 2852; AMD, 1999 MAR p. 811, Eff. 4/23/99; AMD, 2004 MAR p. 2548, Eff. 10/22/04; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 737, Eff. 4/13/12; AMD, 2024 MAR p. 258, Eff. 2/10/24.