Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Coal and Uranium Mine Reclamation

Planting Of Vegetation Following Grading Of Disturbed Area

82-4-233. Planting of vegetation following grading of disturbed area. (1) The operator shall establish on regraded areas and on all other disturbed areas, except water areas, surface areas of roads, and other constructed features approved as part of the postmining land use, a vegetative cover that is in accordance with the approved permit and reclamation plan and that is:

(a) diverse, effective, and permanent;

(b) composed of species native to the area or of introduced species when desirable and necessary to achieve the postmining land use and when approved by the department;

(c) at least equal in extent of cover to the natural vegetation of the area; and

(d) capable of stabilizing the soil surface in order to control erosion to the extent appropriate for the approved postmining land use.

(2) The reestablished plant species must:

(a) be compatible with the approved postmining land use;

(b) have the same seasonal growth characteristics as the original vegetation;

(c) be capable of self-regeneration and plant succession;

(d) be compatible with the plant and animal species of the area; and

(e) meet the requirements of applicable seed, poisonous and noxious plant, and introduced species laws or regulations.

(3) Reestablished vegetation must be appropriate to the postmining land use so that when the postmining land use is:

(a) cropland, the requirements of subsections (1)(a), (1)(c), (2)(b), and (2)(c) are not applicable;

(b) pastureland or grazing land, reestablished vegetation must have use for grazing by domestic livestock at least comparable to premining conditions or enhanced when practicable;

(c) fish and wildlife habitat, forestry, or recreation, trees and shrubs must be planted to achieve appropriate stocking rates.

(4) All underground shafts, tunnels, or other excavations are excluded from the provisions of subsection (1).

History: En. Sec. 12, Ch. 325, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 24, Ch. 441, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 50-1045; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 172, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 196, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 204, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 127, L. 2005.