17.24.1145 DESIGNATION OF LANDS UNSUITABLE: NOTICE AND ACTION ON PETITION
(1) (a) Within 30 days of receipt of a petition, the
department shall notify the petitioner by certified mail whether or not the
petition is complete under ARM 17.24.1144(2) or (3) .
(b) The department shall determine whether any
identified coal resources exist in the area covered by the petition, without
requiring any showing from the petitioner.
If the department finds there are no identified coal resources in that
area, it shall provide the petitioner with a statement of the findings.
(c) Once the requirements of ARM 17.24.1144 are
met, no party bears any burden of proof, but each accepted petition must be
considered and acted upon by the department pursuant to the procedures of this
(d) When considering a petition for an area which
was previously and unsuccessfully proposed for designation, the department
shall determine if the new petition presents new allegations of facts. If the petition does not contain new allegations
of facts, the department may not consider the petition and shall provide the
petitioner with a statement of its findings and a reference to the record of
the previous designation proceedings where the facts were considered.
(e) If the department determines that the petition
or a portion thereof is incomplete or frivolous, it shall provide the
petitioner with a written statement of the reasons for the determination and
the categories of information needed to make the petition complete. A frivolous petition is one in which the
allegation of harm lacks serious merit.
The department is not required to process a petition that is incomplete,
frivolous, or filed by a person who does not have an interest that is or may be
(f) The department shall notify the person who
submits a petition of any application for a permit received that contains a
proposal to include any area covered by the petition.
(g) The receipt of any petition after the close of
the public comment period on a permit application relating to the same mine
plan area does not prevent the department from issuing a decision on that
permit application. The department may
to process any petition received thereafter and shall provide the petitioner
with a statement why the department cannot consider the petition. For the purposes of this rule, "close
of the public comment period" means at the close of any informal
conference held under ARM 17.24.403, or, if no conference is requested, the
close of the period for filing written comments and objections under 17.24.402.
(2) (a) Promptly after receipt of the petition, the
department shall notify the general public that a petition has been filed. The notice must be a newspaper advertisement
in the newspaper providing the broadest circulation in the locale of the
petition area. The notice must be
published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks.
A similar notice must be placed in the Montana Administrative
Register. The notice must include a
request for submission of relevant information.
(b) Within 3 weeks after the determination that a
petition is complete, the department shall circulate copies of the petition to,
and request submissions of relevant information from, other interested
governmental agencies, the petitioner, intervenors, persons with an ownership
interest of record in the property, and other persons known to the department
to have an interest in the property.
(c) Promptly after the determination has been made
that a petition is complete, the department shall request submissions of
relevant information from the general public by a newspaper advertisement
placed once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in the newspaper of broadest
circulation in the locale of the petition area, and in the Montana
(3) Until 3 days before the department holds a
hearing under ARM 17.24.1146, any person may intervene in the proceeding by filing
allegations of facts, supporting evidence, a short statement identifying the
petition to which the allegations pertain, and the intervenor's name, address,
and telephone number.
(4) Beginning immediately after a complete
petition is filed, the department shall compile and maintain a record
consisting of all documents relating to the petition filed with or prepared by
the department. The department shall
make the record available for public inspection free of charge and for copying
at reasonable cost during all normal business hours at all its offices or, upon
request, at a county courthouse or library.
History: 82-4-204, 82-4-205, MCA; IMP, 82-4-227, MCA; NEW, 1980 MAR p. 725, Eff. 4/1/80; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 30, Eff. 1/13/89; TRANS, from DSL, 1996 MAR p. 3042.