Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 230 – Geothermal well, applicatn, fees
HOUSE BILL NO. 230
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H0230......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES - Amends existing law relating to geothermal resources
to revise filing fee provisions; to revise procedures relating to the
processing of applications and investigations; to revise requirements
relating to the provision of good and sufficient security; and to authorize
the director to accept a comprehensive security.
02/22 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/23 Rpt prt - to Res/Con
02/28 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/01 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/02 3rd rdg - PASSED - 66-0-4
AYES -- Andrus, Barrett, Bayer, Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black, Block,
Bock, Bolz, Brackett, Bradford, Chadderdon, Chavez, Chew, Clark,
Collins, Crane, Durst, Edmunson, Eskridge, Hagedorn, Hart, Harwood,
Henbest, Henderson, Jaquet, Killen, King, Labrador, Lake, LeFavour,
Loertscher, Luker, Marriott, Mathews, McGeachin, Mortimer, Moyle,
Nielsen, Pasley-Stuart, Patrick, Pence, Raybould, Ring, Ringo,
Roberts, Ruchti, Rusche, Sayler, Schaefer, Shepherd(2), Shepherd(8),
Shirley, Shively, Smith(30), Smith(24), Snodgrass, Stevenson, Thayn,
Trail, Vander Woude, Wills, Wood(27), Wood(35), Mr. Speaker
NAYS -- None
Absent and excused -- Anderson, Boe, Kren, Nonini
Floor Sponsor - Brackett
Title apvd - to Senate
03/05 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Res/Env
03/12 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/13 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/19 3rd rdg - PASSED - 32-0-3
AYES -- Andreason, Bair, Bastian, Bilyeu, Broadsword, Burkett,
Cameron, Coiner, Corder, Darrington, Davis, Fulcher, Geddes, Goedde,
Hammond, Heinrich, Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Keough, Langhorst, Little,
Lodge, McGee, McKague, McKenzie, Pearce, Richardson, Schroeder,
Siddoway, Stegner, Werk
NAYS -- None
Absent and excused -- Gannon, Malepeai, Stennett
Floor Sponsor - Cameron
Title apvd - to House
03/19 To enrol - Rpt enrol - Sp signed
03/20 Pres signed - To Governor
03/26 Governor signed
Session Law Chapter 189
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature First Regular Session - 2007
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 230
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES; AMENDING SECTION 42-4003, IDAHO CODE, TO
3 REVISE FILING FEE PROVISIONS AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS; AMENDING
4 SECTION 42-4004, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE PROCEDURES RELATING TO THE PROCESS-
5 ING OF APPLICATIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS;
6 AMENDING SECTION 42-4005, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO
7 THE PROVISION OF GOOD AND SUFFICIENT SECURITY, TO AUTHORIZE THE DIRECTOR
8 TO ACCEPT A COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AND
9 DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
11 SECTION 1. That Section 42-4003, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
12 amended to read as follows:
13 42-4003. PERMITS -- APPLICATION -- FEE -- EXCEPTIONS. (a) Any person who,
14 as owner or operator, proposes to construct a well or to alter a well or to
15 construct or to alter an injection well shall first apply to the director for
16 a geothermal resource well permit. Such application shall set out the follow-
17 ing information on a form or forms prescribed by the department:
18 (1) The name of any person making the application; if such person is a
19 partnership, joint-venture, association, or other unincorporated group of
20 corporate or natural persons, the names and places of domicile of each of
21 the constituent persons who have general partnership responsibility and
22 authority for and in such unincorporated group of persons; if any person
23 named on a permit application is a corporation, its place of domicile, the
24 names and places of domicile of its principal executive officers, and the
25 names and places of domicile of any person or persons owning a thirty per-
26 cent (30%) or greater interest, whether legal, beneficial, or a combined
27 legal and beneficial interest, in such corporate person; if the applicant
28 is making an application as an agent for any other person, it shall be
29 clearly so stated and any person who is the applicant's principal shall be
30 subject to each and all of the disclosure requirements of this subdivision
31 subsection; for purposes of this subdivision subsection, the domicile of a
32 corporation is at all of the following:
33 a. tThe place of incorporation ,;
34 b. tThe principal place of business ,;
35 c. tThe place, by city and state, of the home office, and in any
36 instance where domicile is required to be disclosed all of these
37 places shall be specified.
38 (2) The location of the proposed well; and/or the injection well
39 described particularly by the quarter-quarter section according to the
40 township and range system of the United States public lands survey.
41 (3) The length, size, type, and thickness of casing proposed to be used
42 in such well and/or such injection well and any other devices or tech-
43 niques to be used in the drilling, operation, and maintenance of such well
1 and/or injection well for the purpose of conserving geothermal resources
2 and their availability, avoiding waste and for the protection of other
3 subsurface natural resources.
4 (4) The character and composition of the material expected to be derived
5 from such well.
6 (5) The means proposed to be used to contain and manage the material
7 expected to be derived from such well or injected into such injection well
8 in order to avoid unreasonable damage to life, property, or surface and
9 atmospheric natural resources.
10 (6) Whether such well or such injection well is proposed to be con-
11 structed as a part of a program for exploration or for development of an
12 already explored geothermal resource area.
13 (7) Such other information as the director may determine to be necessary
14 for the administration of this chapter.
15 (b) Any application for a permit to construct a well which is made pursu-
16 ant to this section, if the construction or operation of such well will
17 involve the use of water, or if such well may be expected to yield water to be
18 used, for any beneficial purpose, other than as a mineral source, an energy
19 source, or otherwise as a material medium, shall be accompanied by an applica-
20 tion to appropriate the public waters of this state in the form prescribed in
21 chapter 2, title 42, Idaho Code, and by regulations rules adopted pursuant
22 thereto, and such application to appropriate the public waters shall be gov-
23 erned in all respects by that chapter.
24 (c) Any application for a permit made pursuant to this section shall be
25 accompanied by a filing fee of:
26 (1) One Two hundred dollars ($ 1200) if for a well ,; or
27 (2) Fifty One hundred dollars ($ 50.100) for an injection well ,;
28 and no application shall be accepted and filed by the director until such fil-
29 ing fee has been deposited with him. All moneys received under provisions of
30 this act chapter shall be deposited with the state treasurer in the water
31 administration fund as provided in section 42-238a, Idaho Code.
32 (d) No person shall construct or alter a well or an injection well with-
33 out having first secured a permit therefor; provided however, that the direc-
34 tor may, by general rule or regulation adopted pursuant to chapter 52, title
35 67, Idaho Code, exempt specific categories of wells or injection wells other-
36 wise embraced by this act chapter upon a finding that the purposes of this act
37 chapter do not require that such wells be subject to the permit requirement of
38 this section.
39 (e) Nothing in this act chapter shall be construed as affecting any
40 valid, vested water rights for water in use on or before July 1, 1987.
41 (f) The director shall have the authority to and may designate any area
42 of the state a "geothermal area" when the director finds or has reason to
43 believe that such designation is necessary to protect the geothermal resource
44 from waste and to protect other resources of the state from contamination or
46 (g) No person shall drill a well for any purpose to a depth of three
47 thousand (3,000) feet or more below land surface in a designated "geothermal
48 area" without first obtaining a permit under the provisions of this section.
49 Such permit shall be in addition to any permit required by other provisions of
51 (h) The owner of any well constructed or being constructed pursuant to
52 section 47-320, Idaho Code, which who encounters a geothermal resource, and
53 who intends or desires to utilize such resource, shall make application for a
54 geothermal permit as required under this section, provided however, that no
55 additional filing fee shall be required.
1 (i) A geothermal resource shall be utilized primarily for its heat value.
2 Usage of a geothermal resource primarily for some reason other than its heat
3 value shall not be deemed a beneficial use of the resource.
4 SECTION 2. That Section 42-4004, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
5 amended to read as follows:
6 42-4004. PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS -- INVESTIGATIONS -- HEARINGS. (a)
7 Upon receipt of an application made pursuant to section 42-4003, Idaho Code,
8 it shall be the duty of the director to examine such application to ascertain,
9 within thirty (30) days of receipt, if it sets forth all information required
10 by that section and all the information necessary for the director to make the
11 determination required by this section. If upon such examination the applica-
12 tion is found to be defective, the director shall return such application for
13 correction, or notify the applicant that such application is defective, and
14 the applicant may correct such application within thirty (30) days or make a
15 new application. All applications which comply with the provisions of this act
16 chapter and with the regulations rules of the water resource board shall be
17 accepted by the director and numbered in a manner which will aid in their
19 (b) Upon Within thirty (30) days of the receipt and acceptance of a
20 proper application and the determination of its completeness in accordance
21 with subsection (a) of this section, the director shall undertake and thereaf-
22 ter diligently conduct such investigations as necessary to determine that the
23 construction or alteration of the proposed well or injection well will be in
24 the public interest. The director may consider, but is not limited in his con-
25 sideration to:
26 (1) The financial resources of the applicant, his principal, or other
27 person who may be legally responsible for the subject well or injection
28 well, and the probability that such person will be financially able to
29 bear all costs for which he might be responsible which may be incident to
30 the construction, operation, and maintenance of the well or injection well
31 proposed to be constructed or altered.
32 (2) The adequacy of measures proposed to safeguard subsurface, surface,
33 and atmospheric resources from unreasonable degradation, and especially to
34 protect ground-water aquifers and surface-water sources from contamination
35 which would render such water of lesser quality than it would have had but
36 for the contamination.
37 (3) The possibility that the construction and maintenance of the proposed
38 well will cause waste or will damage any geothermal resource, reservoir,
39 or other source, by unreasonable reduction of pressures or unreasonable
40 reduction of any geothermal resource material medium or in any other man-
41 ner, so as to render any geothermal resource of unreasonably less value.
42 (4) The adequacy of measures proposed to safeguard the environment of the
43 area around the site of the proposed well from unreasonable contamination
44 or pollution.
45 (5) Any possible interdependence between any geothermal resource, reser-
46 voir, pool, or other source expected to be affected under the permit and
47 any aquifers or other sources of ground waters used for beneficial uses
48 other than uses as a material medium or a mineral source, and the proba-
49 bility that such interdependence may cause such ground-water sources to be
50 inadequate to meet demands on them under existing water rights.
51 (c) Upon completion of the investigations required under subsection (b)
52 of this section, the director shall approve the application in whole or in
53 part or upon conditions, or reject the application. Any applicant or the
1 director shall have a right to have a public hearing concerning the propriety
2 of issuing a permit for which an application has been made under section
3 42-4003, Idaho Code. Hearings held under this subdivision of this section sub-
4 section shall be governed by rules of procedure adopted by the water resource
5 board pursuant to chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Hearings held under this
6 subdivision subsection shall be held at any location found to be appropriate
7 by the water resource board.
8 SECTION 3. That Section 42-4005, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
9 amended to read as follows:
10 42-4005. PERMIT -- ISSUANCE -- BOND SUFFICIENT SECURITY -- REVIEW --
11 APPEAL. (a) If the director finds that the well or the injection well as pro-
12 posed to be constructed or altered is in the public interest, he shall issue a
13 permit. The director may issue a permit substantially in accordance with the
14 specifications on the application, or the director may limit the scope of the
15 permit granted or may issue a permit subject to conditions.
16 (b) If the director finds that the well or injection well as it is pro-
17 posed to be constructed or altered in the application will not be in the pub-
18 lic interest, he shall refuse to issue a permit. In no case shall the director
19 issue a permit to construct or alter a well or injection well if he finds that
20 use of the proposed well or injection well may be expected to unreasonably
21 reduce the quality of any surface or ground waters below the quality which
22 such waters would have had but for the proposed well.
23 (c) If the director refuses to issue a permit, or issues one subject to
24 conditions or limitations, he shall issue a clear statement of his reasons for
25 refusing to issue or issuing the limited permit. The director shall issue a
26 statement of findings of fact and conclusions of law that provides a factual
27 and legal basis for the order. The refusal of the director to issue a permit,
28 together with the clear statement of the reasons for refusing to issue the
29 permit shall be served on the applicant by certified mail. A permit issued
30 conditionally or subject to limitations shall, with the statement of reasons
31 required under this subdivision subsection, be served in the same manner as a
32 refusal to issue a permit.
33 (d) An applicant denied a permit or issued a limited or conditional per-
34 mit may seek a public hearing before the water resource board. A certified
35 transcript of the proceedings and the evidence received at such hearing shall
36 be maintained by the board. The board shall affirm, modify or reject the
37 director's decision, and make its decision in the form of an order to the
38 director. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 52, title
39 67, Idaho Code. Judicial review of the final determination by the board may be
40 secured pursuant to chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code.
41 (e) The director shall not issue a permit if he finds that the operation
42 of any well under a proposed permit will decrease ground water in any aquifer
43 or other ground water source or will unreasonably decrease ground water avail-
44 able for prior water rights in any aquifer or other ground water source of
45 water for beneficial uses, other than uses as a mineral source, an energy
46 source, or otherwise as a material medium, unless and until the applicant has
47 also obtained a permit for the appropriation of ground waters under chapter 2,
48 title 42, Idaho Code.
49 (f) The director shall require, as a condition of every permit, that
50 every person who engages in the construction, alteration, testing, or opera-
51 tion of a well to file with the director, on a form prescribed by the direc-
52 tor, a bond indemnifying the state of Idaho providing provide evidence of good
53 and sufficient security , conditioned upon the performance of in the form of a
1 bond, trust fund, letter of credit, insurance or other acceptable surety that
2 ensures that the applicant perform the duties required by this chapter and the
3 proper abandonment of properly abandon any well covered by such permit. The
4 bond Good and sufficient security shall be in an amount not less than five ten
5 thousand dollars ($ 510,000) or more than one hundred thousand dollars
6 ($100,000) as determined by the director based on the size and depth of the
7 well, the complexity of the well, the resource to be recovered, the area of
8 operation, and other relevant factors.
9 (g) Notwithstanding the requirements for sufficient security for individ-
10 ual permits identified in this section, the director shall have the discretion
11 to accept evidence of good and sufficient security in the form of a comprehen-
12 sive wellfield or statewide bond, trust fund, letter of credit, insurance or
13 other acceptable surety for all well permits owned by the applicant within a
14 field or within the state, provided the amount of the comprehensive security
15 does not exceed the total sum of the amounts under each individual permit.
16 SECTION 4. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby
17 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
18 passage and approval.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation increases the basic fees to help cover IDWR's
costs to review applications for geothermal production and
The amendment broadens the bonding ability of geothermal
developers by allowing a wider range of financial instruments. It
also provides greater blanket assurance and flexibility to the
department for well abandonment bonds.
This legislation will have no fiscal impact on the state's
general fund. It does increase the revenue of the IDWR by the
amount of the increase in filing fees.
Name: Representative Bert Brackett
Director David Tuthill, Water Resources, Dept of
Representative John A. Stevenson
Representative Scott Bedke
Representative Fred Wood (27)
Representative Sharon Block
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 230