17.24.912 BUFFER ZONES
(1) Underground mining operations must not be conducted beneath or adjacent to any perennial stream or impoundment having a storage volume of 20 acre-feet or more, unless the department, on the basis of detailed subsurface information, determines that subsidence will not cause material damage to streams, water bodies and associated structures. If subsidence causes material damage, then measures will be taken to the extent technologically and economically feasible to correct the same and to prevent additional subsidence from occurring.
(2) Underground mining operations beneath any aquifer that serves as a significant source of water supply to any public water system must be conducted so as to avoid disruption of the aquifer and consequent exchange of ground water between the aquifer and other strata. The department may prohibit mining in the vicinity of the aquifer or may limit the percentage of coal extraction to protect the aquifer and water supply.
(3) Underground mining operations must not be conducted beneath or in close proximity to any public buildings, including, but not limited to, churches, schools, hospitals, courthouses, and government offices, unless the department, on the basis of detailed subsurface information, determines that subsidence from those operations would not cause material damage to these structures and specifically authorizes the mining operations.
(4) The department shall suspend underground mining under urbanized areas, cities, towns, and communities, and adjacent to industrial or commercial buildings, major impoundments or permanent streams if it finds imminent danger to inhabitants of the urbanized areas, cities, towns, or communities.
History: 82-4-204, 82-4-205, MCA; IMP, 82-4-227, 82-4-231, 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.