(1) Any person whose interests are or may be adversely affected by the
decision on an application submitted pursuant to ARM 17.24.401(1) or the
officer or head of any federal, state or local government agency or authority
may, in writing, request that the department hold an informal conference on
that application. The request must:
(a) briefly summarize the issues to be raised by
the requestor at the conference;
(b) state whether the requestor desires to have
the conference conducted in the locality of the proposed activity; and
(c) be filed with the department not later than 30
days after the last publication of the newspaper advertisement placed by the
applicant under ARM 17.24.401(3) .
(2) Except as provided in (3) of this rule, if an
informal conference is requested in accordance with this rule, the department
shall hold an informal conference within 30 days following the receipt of the
request. The informal conference shall
be conducted according to the following:
(a) If requested under (1) (b) of this rule, it
must be held in the locality of the proposed activity.
(b) The department shall advertise the date, time,
and location of the informal conference in a newspaper of general circulation
in the locality of the proposed activity at least 2 consecutive weeks prior to
the scheduled conference.
(c) If requested, in writing, by a conference
requestor in a reasonable time prior to the conference, the department may
arrange with the applicant to grant parties to the conference access to the
mine plan area for the purpose of gathering information relevant to the
(d) The conference must be conducted by a
representative of the department, who may accept oral or written statements and
any other relevant information from any party to the conference. An electronic
or stenographic record must be made of the conference proceeding, unless waived
by all the parties. The record must be
maintained and shall be accessible to the parties of the conference until final
release of the applicant's performance bond.
(3) If all parties requesting the informal
conference stipulate before the informal conference to withdraw their request,
the informal conference need not be held.
(4) The department shall notify the applicant and
all parties to the informal conference of its decisions and the reasons
therefor within 60 days of the informal conference.