(1) All non-existing or non-operating mines at the time of passage of Title
82, chapter 4, part 1, MCA, (Strip Mine Siting Act) from which 10,000 cubic
yards of mineral or overburden will be removed are subject to the Act.
(2) A person currently engaged in strip mining
activities and contemplating an expansion of existing strip mine may, at any
time, request that the department, by declaratory ruling, determine whether
said contemplated expansion constitutes a new strip mine. The request shall be made in writing and
(a) topographic map showing the total proposed
mining area of the contemplated expansion, as known, and the relationship of
the proposed expansion to the existing mine and facilities;
(b) narratives and maps describing soils,
wildlife, geologic structure, and vegetation of the proposed expansion. The
department may require narratives and maps as described by Title 82, chapter 4,
part 1, MCA, rules and regulations pursuant thereto and current departmental
(c) total number of acres involved in the proposed
(d) a brief narrative describing what expansion of
facilities or new construction, if any, is contemplated.
(3) The department shall, within 90 days from
receipt of a request, including the above required information, notify the
person in writing whether the proposed expansion constitutes a new strip
mine. The department may not act on a
request until sufficient information required by this rule is submitted.
(4) A determination by the department shall not
apply, or affect subsequent rulings or determinations if the expansion is not
conducted as outlined in the original request.