(1) Within 30 days after the applicant or permittee is notified of the final decision of the department concerning the application submitted pursuant to ARM 17.24.401, or an application for transfer, sale, or assignment of rights, the applicant, permittee, landowner, or any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected may submit a written request for a hearing on the reasons for the final decision. The request must contain the grounds upon which the requester contends the decision is in error.
(2) The board shall commence the hearing within 30 days of such request. For the purposes of the hearing, the board or its hearing officer may order a site inspection. The hearing is a contested case hearing and no person who presided at an informal conference shall either preside at this hearing or participate in the decision thereon.
(3) The board may, under such conditions as it may prescribe, grant such temporary relief as it deems appropriate, pending final determination of the proceeding, if:
(a) all parties to the proceeding have been notified and given an opportunity to be heard on a request for temporary relief;
(b) the person requesting that relief shows that there is a substantial likelihood that he or she will prevail on the merits of the final determination of the proceeding; and
(c) the relief will not adversely affect the public health or safety, or cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources; and
(d) the relief sought is not the issuance of a permit where a permit has been denied, in whole or in part, by the department.
(4) A verbatim record of each public hearing shall be made and a transcript made available on the motion of any party or order of the hearing officer.
(5) Ex parte contacts between representatives of the parties before the hearing examiner and the hearing examiner are prohibited.
(6) Within 20 days after the close of the record, the board shall issue and furnish the applicant and each person who participated in the hearing with the written findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order of the department with respect to the appeal.
(7) The burden of proof at such hearing is on the party seeking to reverse the decision of the board.