17.24.183 COMPARABLE UTILITY AND STABILITY OF RECLAIMED AREAS--STANDARDS FOR BOND RELEASE FOR SMALL MINERS
(1) In order for the department to release bond, the area must be reclaimed to a postmining land form and land use that are at least comparable to that of adjacent areas. Reclamation must provide for comparable stability and utility as that of adjacent areas, insure public safety, and prevent pollution of air and water and the degradation of adjacent lands.
(2) Bond may not be released unless the following reclamation standards for placer and dredging operations are achieved:
(a) Pits must be backfilled with overburden and washed gravels unless otherwise approved by the department as part of an alternate postmining land use that provides comparable stability and utility.
(b) Excess overburden must also have been appropriately placed and graded.
(c) Soils and soil substitutes must have been respread and graded on the backfilled, regraded overburden surface.
(d) Slopes must have been reduced to a grade which achieves comparable utility and stability in the postmining landscape.
(e) Disturbed areas must have been revegetated with appropriate perennial nonweedy species similar to that of adjacent areas.
(f) Roads must have been reclaimed to approximate original contour consistent with the postmining land form and land use in compliance with (1) unless otherwise approved by the department and concurred with by the landowner.
(g) Stream and floodplain disturbances must be reclaimed to their approximate premining condition so that comparable beneficial uses, such as fisheries, comparable flow capacity, and fluvial functions are restored. In most instances, this will require removal of berms.
(h) Noxious weeds must have been controlled, consistent with county weed board requirements.
History: 82-4-321, MCA; IMP, 82-4-305(3), (4), and (5), MCA; NEW, 1991 MAR p. 445, Eff. 4/12/91; TRANS, from DSL, 1996 MAR p. 2852.