(a) The director shall, upon receipt of an application for a permit, determine if the application is complete and contains the information required in the application. The director has thirty days to review the application for technical completeness. An application is complete when all required information has been submitted to the director. If the application is determined incomplete, the applicant shall be notified with written comments stating the deficiencies. If the director finds the application has technical deficiencies or other inadequacies which require further information, the thirty-day review period shall be interrupted on the date the notice is mailed to the applicant, and the time period shall resume upon receipt of the corrected and complete application. Should the applicant disagree with a decision of the director, the applicant may, by written notice, request a hearing before the director. The director shall hold the hearing within thirty calendar days of receipt of this notice. When a hearing has been held, the director shall notify the applicant of the decision by certified mail within twenty days of the hearing. An applicant aggrieved by a final order of the director may, after the hearing or without a hearing, appeal the order to the surface mine board. Any appeal to the board shall be taken without prejudice by the director in the final review of a permit application.
(b) Upon the director's determination that an application is complete, the applicant shall publish a notice of the application for a permit as a Class III legal advertisement in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. The notice shall contain, in abbreviated form, the information required in the application. The notice shall state that written comments on the application will be accepted until a specified date, within thirty days after the first date of publication of the notice. The notice shall also state that a copy of the complete application including the quarrying and reclamation plans and maps will be available for public inspection during the public comment period at the office of the county clerk in the county or counties in which the proposed permit area is located. The publication area of the notice required by this section is the county or counties in which any portion of the proposed permit area is located. The cost of all publications required by this section shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
(c) Prior to approval of any quarry mining permit, the division shall upon receipt of a written request of a person having expressed concern or objections to the proposed permit, cause a public hearing to be held in the locality where the quarry operation is proposed to be located for the purpose of receiving comment regarding the expected or perceived impacts of the quarry operation on the local area: Provided, That no public hearing is required for a notice of intent to operate an underground quarry with a surface disturbance less than five acres.
(d) The director shall receive and fully consider evidence or comments submitted during the public comment period by any member of the public.
(e) Within thirty days of close of the public comment period, upon the determination by the director that proper public notice has been given and comment has been received by the agency, and that the quarrying operation will be conducted consistent with the requirements of this article, then the director shall issue a quarry permit to the applicant.
(f) The director, upon receipt of comments expressing substantial new questions regarding the application, may reopen the public comment period.