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17.24.105    CONDUCT OF EXPLORATION OPERATIONS

(1) All suitable practically salvaged soil and soil material must be salvaged prior to any other site disturbance, and either stockpiled or used for immediate reclamation.

(2) Except for samples, drilling mud, water and other fluids as well as waste cuttings from drilling operations must be confined to the drill site by the use of storage tanks or sumps or must be disposed of in accordance with a plan approved by the department.

(3) Drill sites must not be constructed in natural flowing streams.

(4) Areas disturbed by removal of vegetation or grading must be kept to the minimum size necessary to accommodate the exploration operation.

(5) Insofar as possible, trenches, discovery pits and other excavations must be located out of natural flowing streams.

(6) Spoil from pits, trenches, shafts, adits, or other excavations must not be located in drainage ways. The lower edge of the spoil bank must be at least five vertical feet above high flow level. Exceptions may be made when it is not physically practical to place spoil at least five vertical feet above the high flow level.

(7) If an artesian aquifer is intercepted during a drilling operation, the drill hole must be plugged at depth (top to bottom) prior to removal of the drill rig.

(8) Oil, grease, hydraulic fluid and other petroleum products must not be released on the exploration site. If a release occurs, the contaminated material must be removed immediately and disposed of at a proper disposal site.

(9) Exploration adits, shafts, and other excavations must be secured from unauthorized entry throughout the life of the operation to ensure public safety.

(10) Pilot ore processing plants or sites, as defined in ARM 17.24.102, and permitted under an exploration license, are subject to all applicable requirements of 82-4-335 through 82-4-337 , MCA.

(11) The department may require interim revegetation for the purposes of erosion control on all exploration disturbance areas.

History: 82-4-321, MCA; IMP, 82-4-332, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 2952, Eff. 11/11/94; TRANS, from DSL, 1996 MAR p. 2852.

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