(1) A proposed reclamation bond calculation must be submitted as part of the plan of operation on a form provided by the department or in another format approved by the department in writing. The bond amount must be based on a reasonable estimate of the cost for the department to procure the services of a third-party contractor to reclaim, in accordance with this subchapter and the plan of operation, the anticipated maximum disturbance during the life of the bonded opencut operation, including equipment mobilization, contractor profit, and overhead costs. The department shall review the proposed bond calculation and make a final determination.
(2) The estimate of the reclamation costs must address the following considerations:
(a) the requirements for reclamation provided in ARM 17.24.219 and 82-4-434, MCA;
(b) replacement of all soil (and overburden if sufficient soil is unavailable) to a minimum depth of 24 inches or to another depth approved in writing by the department;
(c) the plan of operation and the permit application; and
(d) postmining site conditions and any other site-specific considerations.
(3) An application for a permit under this subchapter is deficient if the proposed amount of the reclamation bond is insufficient to cover the estimated costs of reclamation required by this rule.
(4) Federal agencies, the state of Montana, counties, cities, and towns are not required to post a bond or other security.