(1) The department shall review each submitted license application within 60 days to ensure that it is complete, as defined in Title 75, chapter 1, part 2, MCA. The department shall notify the local health officer of an application, as required in 75-10-222, MCA.
(2) If an application submitted pursuant to ARM 17.50.508 is incomplete, the department shall notify the applicant in writing within 15 days after the initial review is completed and shall postpone processing the application until the material necessary to complete the application is received and the application is determined to be complete. If the requested additional information is not received within 90 days after the applicant has been notified, a new application and application fee must be submitted. The department shall notify the applicant when an application is determined to be complete.
(3) The department shall review a complete application and other relevant information and make a proposed decision based on the applicant's apparent ability to comply with the applicable laws and rules, and determine the need for an environmental impact statement (EIS). To ensure a timely completion of the environmental review process, the department shall follow the time limits listed in (3)(a) through (c). All time limits are measured from the date the department receives a complete application. The department has:
(a) 60 days to complete a public scoping process, if any;
(b) 90 days to complete an environmental review unless a detailed statement pursuant to 75-1-201, MCA, is required; and
(c) 180 days to complete a detailed statement pursuant to 75-1-201, MCA.
(4) If the department is unable to complete an environmental review within the time provided in (3), it may extend the time limits in (3) by notifying the applicant in writing that an extension is necessary and stating the basis for the extension. The department may extend the time limit one time, and the extension may not exceed 50% of the original time period listed in (3). After one extension, the department may not extend the time limit unless the department and the applicant mutually agree to the extension.
(5) The department has adopted rules relating to the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) in ARM Title 17, chapter 4, subchapter 6. The environmental review process for the department's proposed action must follow these rules.
(6) Interested persons may obtain copies of the complete application and the department's environmental assessment or EIS, proposed decision, and final decision upon request and payment of copying costs. The requirements of ARM Title 17, chapter 4, subchapter 6, apply to any public notice or public meetings concerning an environmental assessment or EIS.
(7) Within 30 days after completing its environmental review under (3), the department shall make its final decision and then notify in writing the applicant, the local health officer, and any other interested persons who have requested to be notified. If the department decides to issue the license, the requirements of 75-10-222 and 75-10-223, MCA, apply to validation of the license by the local health officer.