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Regulatory Handbook -> Land Resource Permits -> Geothermal Drilling Permit

Geothermal Drilling Permit

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
To administer and enforce provisions of the Geothermal Resources Act, RCW 78.60 related to drilling a new well, deepening an existing well, or redrilling an abandoned well for geothermal resources.
Who Issues this Permit?
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
What Activities Require this Permit?
Drilling, redrilling or deepening of a geothermal well requires a permit, "Any person proposing to drill a well or redrill an abandoned well for geothermal resources shall file with the department a written application for a permit to commence such drilling or redrilling" RCW 78.60.070(1).
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
A geothermal exploration (drilling) permit fee to drill, redrill, or deepen is $200.00 per well.

A performance security is required, the minimums are as follows:
  • Geothermal resource single well is a minimum of $15,000.
  • Geothermal resource blanket security for two or more wells is a minimum of $50,000.
  • Core hole (temperature gradient) well is a minimum of $5,000.
  • Core hole (two or more temperature gradients) blanket security is a minimum of $25,000.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Geothermal Exploration Permit Application (Geothermal Form 1)' is online and can be accessed at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/geology/energy-mining-and-minerals/rules-regulations-and-forms.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
The applicant shall provide with the application the following information (see WAC 332-17):
  • Drill site layout, blowout prevention equipment details, mud program, casing and cementing program, and, mud pit details.
  • A map by a licensed surveyor of the well location.
  • Location and source of water supply.
  • Topographic features of well site area, including drainage patterns and associated surface waters and
    wetlands.
  • Narrative statement describing proposed measures to be used for protection of the environment, including but not limited to: fires, soil erosion, pollution of surface and ground waters, damage to fish and wildlife or other natural resources, air and noise pollution, hazards to public health and safety, site restoration, and methods and site for disposal of waste materials.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
The estimates of application completion and permit decision (processing) times shall be based upon actual data for calendar year 2015 and will be available by March 1, 2016.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Department of Natural Resources
Geology and Earth Resources Division
1111 Washington Street SE
PO Box 47007
Olympia, WA 98504-7007
How Long is my Permit Valid?
Per WAC 332-17-300, a well shall be properly abandoned when drilling, redrilling or deepening operations have ceased, or geothermal resources cannot be produced from the well.
Notes / Comments:
Applicants should review the seven permit conditions listed in the permit requirements section of the Instruction for Geothermal Drilling Applicants available online at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/ger_geothermal_permit_application_form.pdf.
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2018-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 1
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 1

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 60
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 60

(Summary results based on 1 submittals in 2018)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Helpdesk phone: (360) 902-1450
Subject matter expert phone: (360) 902-1454
Subject matter expert email: maryann.shawver@dnr.wa.gov
Statewide Contact:
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Geology and Earth Resources Division
Headquarters
1111 Washington Street SE
PO Box 47007
Olympia, WA 98504-7007
Telephone: (360) 902-1450
Fax: (360) 902-1785
Website:
* Permit information last updated 8/18/2016
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