(a) A person desiring to engage in exploration activities for discovery of uranium shall make written application to the Department for an exploration permit. An application shall be upon a form furnished by the Department and shall fully state the information called for. In addition, the applicant may be required to furnish any other information the Department deems necessary in order to enforce this Article.
The application shall be accompanied by a signed agreement, in form specified by the Department, that in the event a bond or other security forfeiture is ordered pursuant to G.S. 74-81, the Department and its representatives and contractors may make any necessary entries on the land and take any necessary action to carry out abandonment procedures not completed by the permit holder.
The Department shall also notify the Radiation Protection Commission of the application and request its views and comments on the application.
The applicant shall make a reasonable effort, satisfactory to the Department, to notify all owners of record of land adjoining the proposed site and the chief administrative officer of the county or municipality in which the proposed site is located that he intends to explore for uranium on the site.
(b) The Department shall deny an application upon finding:
(1) That the proposed exploration activity will or is likely to violate any requirement of this Article or any rule promulgated under it; or
(2) That the person seeking to conduct the exploration activity has not corrected all violations which he committed under a prior uranium exploration permit. In the absence of any such findings, a permit shall be granted.
The Department shall grant or deny the permit as expeditiously as possible, but in no event later than 60 days after the filing of the application and of any reasonably required supplementary information.
(c) A permit may be conditioned upon any reasonable requirements and safeguards the Department deems necessary to assure that exploration activity will comply fully with the requirements and objectives of this Article and of other applicable State environmental and public health laws.
The Department shall set the amount of the performance bond or other security required pursuant to G.S. 74-79. The applicant shall have 30 days following the mailing of notification of the bond or security requirement in which to deposit the required bond or security with the Department. The exploration permit shall be issued upon timely receipt of this deposit.
(d) Exploration permits shall be valid for a period of one year. Permits may be renewed annually upon a showing that the person conducting exploration activity has complied with this Article, the rules promulgated under it, and the terms of his permit. Renewal applications shall be upon a form furnished by the Department and shall state the information called for, as well as other information the Department deems necessary. (1983, c. 279, s. 1; 1989, c. 727, s. 12.)