(1) This subchapter applies to opencut operations as provided in the Opencut Mining Act (Title 82, chapter 4, part 4, MCA, hereinafter referred to as "the Act").
(2) An operator conducting opencut operations must comply with the provisions of a contract or permit issued under the Act and this subchapter. Except as provided in (5) and (6), a permit is required before an operator conducts opencut operations.
(3) Contracts and permits in effect before September 27, 2022, need not be amended to comply with rules and rule amendments adopted on September 27, 2022. Applications for permits, permit amendments, and permit assignments that the department determined to be complete prior to September 27, 2022, remain subject to provisions of this subchapter relating to application requirements as they read on the date the department determined the application to be complete.
(4) Except as provided in (5) and ARM 17.24.226, a permit amendment is required before taking an action that expands or changes a permitted opencut operation.
(5) Except as provided in ARM 17.24.226(5), an operator holding a permit issued under the Act may commence a limited opencut operation that meets the criteria in ARM 17.24.226 and 82-4-431, MCA, after the operator has submitted a complete limited opencut operation form to the department.
(6) As provided by 82-4-431(3), MCA, a landowner may remove up to 10,000 cubic yards of opencut materials on the landowner's real property for personal or agricultural uses without obtaining a permit unless a removal affects surface water, including intermittent or perennial streams, ground water, or water conveyance facilities. Opencut materials must not be transported outside the borders of the property from which they are mined or adjoining property owned by the same individual or entity.