82-4-223. Surety bond. (1) Before a permit may be issued, the operator shall file with the department a bond payable to the state of Montana with surety satisfactory to the department in an amount to be determined by the department of not less than $200 for each acre or fraction of an acre of the area of land affected, with a minimum bond of $10,000, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the requirements set forth in this part and of the rules of the department. The operator may elect to deposit cash, negotiable bonds, or negotiable certificates of deposit of any bank organized or transacting business in the United States. The cash deposit or market value of these securities must be equal to or greater than the amount of the bond required for the bonded area. The level of bonding must be relative to the degree of disturbance projected by the original permit and the annual report. A political subdivision or agency of the state need not file a bond unless required to do so by the department. The department shall adjust the amount of bond required if the cost of reclamation changes.
(2) In determining the amount of the bond, the department shall take into consideration the character and nature of the overburden, the future suitable use of the land involved, and the cost of backfilling, grading, highwall reduction, subsidence stabilization, water control, topsoiling, and reclamation to be required, but the bond may not be less than the total estimated cost to the state of completing the work described in the reclamation plan.