Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Metal Mine Reclamation

Independent Review Panel -- Selection -- Duties

82-4-377. Independent review panel -- selection -- duties. (1) An independent review panel shall review the design document required by 82-4-376.

(2) The operator or permit applicant shall select three independent review engineers to serve on the panel and shall submit those names to the department. The department may reject any proposed panelists. If the department rejects a proposed panelist, the operator or permit applicant shall continue to select independent review engineers as panelists until three panelists are approved by the department.

(3) An independent review engineer may not be an employee of:

(a) an operator or permit applicant; or

(b) the design consultant, the engineer of record, or the constructor.

(4) The operator or permit applicant shall contract with panel members, process invoices, and pay costs.

(5) A representative of the department and a representative of the operator or permit applicant may participate on the panel, but they are not members of the panel and their participation is nonbinding on the review.

(6) The engineer of record is not a member of the panel but shall participate in the panel review.

(7) The operator or permit applicant shall provide each panel member with a hard copy and an electronic copy of the design document and other information requested by the panel.

(8) The panel shall review the design document, underlying analysis, and assumptions for consistency with this part. The panel shall assess the practicable application of current technology in the proposed design.

(9) The panel shall submit its review and any recommended modifications to the operator or permit applicant and the department. The panel's determination is conclusive. The report must be signed by each panel member.

(10) The engineer of record shall modify the design document to address the recommendations of the panel and shall certify the completed design document. The operator or permit applicant shall submit the final design document to the department pursuant to 82-4-376.

(11) For an expansion of a tailings storage facility for which the original design document was approved by the department, the operator shall make a reasonable effort to retain the previous panel members. To replace a panel member, the process in subsection (2) must be followed.

History: En. Sec. 6, Ch. 399, L. 2015.