(1) Upon receipt of an application to conduct opencut operations and within the time limits provided in 82-4-432, MCA, the department shall evaluate the application to determine if the requirements of the Act and this subchapter are satisfied.
(2) Except as provided in 75-1-208(4)(b), MCA, within five working days of receipt of an application to conduct opencut operations, the department shall determine and notify the applicant whether the application is complete. A complete application must be submitted on forms provided by the department and must contain the materials and information required by 82-4-432(1) and (2), MCA, and the plan of operation required by ARM 17.24.218 through 17.24.223.
(3) If the department determines that an application is complete, the applicant shall comply with the public notice requirements required by 82-4-432, MCA, and the department shall review the application for acceptability.
(4) A permit application is acceptable if the materials and information provided to the department demonstrate that the proposed opencut operation complies with requirements of 82-4-432(1) and (2), MCA, and contains a plan of operation that meets the requirements of this subchapter.
(5) Before determining that an application for a permit is acceptable, the department shall submit a copy of the plan of operation, including site and area maps, to the state historic preservation office for evaluation of possible cultural resources in the proposed permit area. Based on information provided by the state historic preservation office and as required by law, the department may require that the operator sponsor a cultural resources survey by an archaeological professional and provide a plan to protect archeological and historical values on affected lands. Unless prohibited by law, the department shall make available a response received from the state historic preservation office.
(6) A permit must provide that the operator shall comply with the requirements of the Act and this subchapter. Before determining that an application for a permit or amendment is acceptable, the department may condition a permit as necessary to accomplish the requirements of the Act and this subchapter including, but not limited to, requiring surface water and ground water quality and quantity monitoring before, during, and after opencut operations inside and outside the permit area.
(7) A permit becomes effective when the department notifies the applicant in writing that the information and materials provided to the department meet all the requirements of the Act and this subchapter and that the permit is approved and issued by the department.