(1) All requests for certified noxious weed materials are voluntary.
(2) A person can request inspection of noxious weed free materials annually. The request for inspection is made with the department or certified inspector in the county in which the site is located.
(3) The following procedures and processes are required for site and material noxious weed free certification:
(a) When a portion of a site is to be certified, this portion must be plainly marked or separated by a buffer area at least 12 feet wide, to avoid mixing the certified and uncertified portions.
(b) Sites must include surrounding ditches, fence rows, roads, easements, rights-of-way, and buffer zones of a minimum of 12 feet surrounding the outside edges of the certified site.
(4) Areas associated with the site, such as equipment used to move the material, storage areas and/or bins, are inspected at the same time as the site prior to stacking or filling them with certified material. These areas must be free of noxious weeds. Contaminated storage areas cannot be approved for storage of certified materials.
(5) Bulk or packaged certified materials may be tested or inspected at any time during normal business hours by an agent or the department. Evidence that any lot of certified material has not been protected from contamination or is not properly identified or separated will be cause for certification cancellation.
(6) Gravel, mulch, and other materials that have been sourced from an unknown and/or non-certified site are ineligible for certification unless manufactured or processed to meet requirements in ARM 4.5.405.
(7) Forms are completed by the inspector at the time of inspection of each site. At the conclusion of the inspection, the producer is provided an invoice for the inspection fees and, if applicable, markers.
(8) All equipment must be cleaned of any noxious weed prior to moving, packaging, or otherwise handling certified gravel, mulch, or materials.
(9) Site owners or managers must provide a copy of their county-approved noxious weed management plan.
(10) Gravel, mulch, other materials, and sites that appear weedy or show poor weed management practices, even though noxious weeds are not present, will not be certified under the certification standards. The local agent will document the problems and has the discretion to make this judgment. A producer can challenge this decision and petition the department to assign another agent to reinspect the field.
(11) Any site where a Priority 1A or 1B weed listed in ARM 4.5.206 and 4.5.207 is found or known to occur must implement mitigation strategies approved by the county weed district or department to produce certified materials. If Priority 1A or 1B weeds are present during an inspection, the site and materials are ineligible for certification until the following year.