(1) The department shall conduct an average of at least one partial inspection per month of each active mining operation and such partial inspections of each inactive mining operation as are necessary to enforce the Act, the rules adopted under the Act and the permit, at least one complete inspection per calendar quarter of each active and inactive mining operation, and such periodic partial or complete inspections of prospecting operations as are necessary to enforce the Act, the rules adopted pursuant thereto, and the permit.
(2) A partial inspection is an on-site or aerial observation of the operator's compliance with some of the mining or prospecting permit conditions and requirements. Aerial inspections shall be conducted in a manner and at a time that reasonably ensure the identification and documentation of conditions at each operation in relation to permit conditions and requirements. Any potential violation observed during an aerial inspection shall be investigated on site within three days, provided that any indication of a violation, condition, or practice that creates an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public or is causing or can reasonably be expected to cause significant and imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources shall be investigated on site immediately. On-site investigations of potential violations observed during an aerial inspection may not be considered to be an additional partial or complete inspection for the purposes of ARM 17.24.1201.
(3) A complete inspection is an on-site observation of the operator's compliance with all of the mining or prospecting permit conditions and requirements within the entire area disturbed or affected by the operation.
(4) Inspections must occur without prior notice to the permittee, except for necessary on-site meetings, be conducted on an irregular basis, and be scheduled to detect violations on nights, weekends, and holidays.