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As used in this subchapter and the Act, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following additional definitions apply:

(1) "Alternate land use" means, with regard to a mill facility, reclamation of a site to an alternative postmining land use where the following conditions are met:

(a) The proposed postmilling land use is compatible with adjacent land use, and applicable landowner authorization.

(b) Retention of the structure is consistent with the proposed postmining land use. This shall be documented through inclusion of a schedule showing how the proposed use will be achieved within a reasonable time after milling and will be sustained.

(c) Plans for alternate land use must be integrated with the requirements of ARM 17.24.169 for the grading and revegetation of the surrounding area.

(d) Plans must document, if appropriate, that financing, attainment, and maintenance of the alternative land use is feasible.

(e) The proposed use will:

(i) not present actual or probable hazard to public health or safety;

(ii) comply with the air and water quality acts; and

(iii) minimize adverse effects on fish, wildlife, and related environmental values.

(2) "Contingency plan" means, with regard to spilled process solution, a plan which includes, but is not limited to, steps for containment, neutralization, and removal, and identification of any associated training needs.

(3) "Description of existing environment" means a description with appropriate maps of the condition of the proposed project area prior to exploration or operation. The description shall provide, but not be limited to, a discussion which characterizes each of the following:

(a) geology;

(b) soils;

(c) vegetation including, but not limited to, canopy cover, diversity, use, and productivity;

(d) wildlife;

(e) hydrology (surface and ground water characteristics, quantity, quality, and use) , including maps which identify springs, seeps, and wells within one mile of the permit boundary and three miles down gradient unless a lesser distance is justified and agreed to by the department;

(f) air quality and climate;

(g) aquatic biology;

(h) land use and ownership;

(i) recreation;

(j) cultural/historic resources identified as a result of inventory and of file searches conducted by the State Historic Preservation Office;

(k) noise;

(l) transportation;

(m) aesthetics.

(4) "Expansion of a mill facility" means disturbance of an area not previously disturbed by the milling operation, and, in the case of a waste dump, tailing impoundment, or similar facility, a change in the design capacity that will result in an increase in land disturbance at an existing mill facility. When disturbance of an area not previously disturbed by the operation occurs at a dump, impoundment or similar facility, the department may regulate the previously disturbed area to the extent necessary to achieve reclamation of the expansion area.

(5) "Facility" means any building, impoundment, embankment, waste or tailings disposal site, or other man-made structure associated with a particular activity. Mill facility means a mill and associated structures, disturbance and development.

(6) "Mill" means any facility for ore, tailings, or waste rock processing and disposal. This term does not include smelting, or refining facilities, sample collection processes, and pilot testing performed pursuant to an exploration license.

(7) "Plan" means that information submitted to the department pertaining to a proposed or ongoing milling related activity which utilized narratives, engineering designs, maps, cross-sections, or other documentation which adequately describes the activity.

(8) "Reclamation" means removal of facilities, unless an alternate land use is approved and the regrading, contouring, and revegetation of disturbed land. For the purpose of ARM 17.24.166 through 17.24.170, reclamation shall be deemed complete when the disturbed land is restored to a comparable utility and stability as that of adjacent areas, except for open pits and rock faces which may not be feasible to reclaim. Reclamation of previously disturbed areas is required only to the extent feasible given the pre-existing condition of the site.

(9) "Reclamation to the extent practicable and feasible" means, with regard to reprocessing of waste rock and tailings:

(a) where waste rock and tailings have previously been reclaimed under the Act and this subchapter, compliance with the standards set for an operating permit;

(b) where waste rock and tailings have not previously been subject to the reclamation requirements of the Act and this subchapter and are to be redisturbed under the proposed permit, the following:

(i) reclamation of any reprocessed waste rock and tails and associated facilities consistent with the standards of this definition;

(ii) salvage and replacement of available soil or suitable materials;

(iii) use of suitable materials at the surface of any reprocessed waste rock to the extent practicable;

(iv) grading of slopes to a stable angle, treating with appropriate soils amendments and vegetating with a perennial seed mix;

(v) amending and seeding the regraded site such that utility is improved over that which existed prior to reprocessing;

(vi) preservation of water quality at least to the level that existed prior to reprocessing.

History: 82-4-321, MCA; IMP, 82-4-335, 82-4-336, 82-4-337, MCA; NEW, 1990 MAR p. 1008, Eff. 6/1/90; TRANS, from DSL, 1996 MAR p. 2852; AMD, 1999 MAR p. 640, Eff. 4/9/99.

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