IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES ACT
42-4003. Permits — Application — Fee — Exceptions. (1) Any person who, as owner or operator, proposes to construct a well or to alter a well or to construct or to alter an injection well shall first apply to the director for a geothermal resource well permit, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) The use of ground water classified as a geothermal resource or material medium for the development and operation of oil and gas wells permitted under section 47-316, Idaho Code, shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter. However, the director of the department of water resources may initiate a contested case in accordance with the provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, and the rules of procedure promulgated by the department, if the department has reason to believe that an oil and gas well will cause, is causing or has caused, significant negative impacts to pressure, temperature, quality necessary for beneficial use or quantity of water available to water rights existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well or to a geothermal resource that can be beneficially used. The evidence of causation must come from the department or be credible information from a water right holder or a geothermal resource permit holder existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well. It shall be the burden of the entity operating the oil and gas well to establish that it will not cause, is not causing and has not caused significant negative impacts to pressure, temperature, quality necessary for beneficial use or quantity of water available to existing water rights existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well or to geothermal resource that can be beneficially used. If the director determines that the well will cause, is causing or has caused significant negative impacts to pressure, temperature, quality necessary for beneficial use or quantity of water available to a water right existing at the time of the development of the oil and gas well or to a geothermal resource that can be beneficially used, the director may order the operator to take measures to mitigate those impacts.
(3) Such application required pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall set out the following information on a form or forms prescribed by the department:
(a) The name of any person making the application; if such person is a partnership, joint-venture, association, or other unincorporated group of corporate or natural persons, the names and places of domicile of each of the constituent persons who have general partnership responsibility and authority for and in such unincorporated group of persons; if any person named on a permit application is a corporation, its place of domicile, the names and places of domicile of its principal executive officers, and the names and places of domicile of any person or persons owning a thirty percent (30%) or greater interest, whether legal, beneficial, or a combined legal and beneficial interest, in such corporate person; if the applicant is making an application as an agent for any other person, it shall be clearly so stated and any person who is the applicant’s principal shall be subject to each and all of the disclosure requirements of this subsection; for purposes of this subsection, the domicile of a corporation is at all of the following:
(i) The place of incorporation;
(ii) The principal place of business;
(iii) The place, by city and state, of the home office, and in any instance where domicile is required to be disclosed all of these places shall be specified.
(b) The location of the proposed well; and/or the injection well described particularly by the quarter-quarter section according to the township and range system of the United States public lands survey.
(c) The length, size, type, and thickness of casing proposed to be used in such well and/or such injection well and any other devices or techniques to be used in the drilling, operation, and maintenance of such well and/or injection well for the purpose of conserving geothermal resources and their availability, avoiding waste and for the protection of other subsurface natural resources.
(d) The character and composition of the material expected to be derived from such well.
(e) The means proposed to be used to contain and manage the material expected to be derived from such well or injected into such injection well in order to avoid unreasonable damage to life, property, or surface and atmospheric natural resources.
(f) Whether such well or such injection well is proposed to be constructed as a part of a program for exploration or for development of an already explored geothermal resource area.
(g) Such other information as the director may determine to be necessary for the administration of this chapter.
(4) Any application for a permit to construct a well which is made pursuant to this section, if the construction or operation of such well will involve the use of water, or if such well may be expected to yield water to be used, for any beneficial purpose, other than as a mineral source, an energy source, or otherwise as a material medium, shall be accompanied by an application to appropriate the public waters of this state in the form prescribed in chapter 2, title 42, Idaho Code, and by rules adopted pursuant thereto, and such application to appropriate the public waters shall be governed in all respects by that chapter.
(5) Any application for a permit made pursuant to this section shall be accompanied by a filing fee of:
(a) Two hundred dollars ($200) if for a well; or
(b) One hundred dollars ($100) for an injection well;
and no application shall be accepted and filed by the director until such filing fee has been deposited with him. All moneys received under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited with the state treasurer in the water administration fund as provided in section 42-238a, Idaho Code.
(6) No person shall construct or alter a well or an injection well without having first secured a permit therefor; provided however, that the director may, by general rule adopted pursuant to chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, exempt specific categories of wells or injection wells otherwise embraced by this chapter upon a finding that the purposes of this chapter do not require that such wells be subject to the permit requirement of this section.
(7) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as affecting any valid, vested water rights for water in use on or before July 1, 1987.
(8) The director shall have the authority to and may designate any area of the state a "geothermal area" when the director finds or has reason to believe that such designation is necessary to protect the geothermal resource from waste and to protect other resources of the state from contamination or waste.
(9) No person shall drill a well for any purpose to a depth of three thousand (3,000) feet or more below land surface in a designated "geothermal area" without first obtaining a permit under the provisions of this section. Such permit shall be in addition to any permit required by other provisions of law.
(10) The owner of any well constructed or being constructed pursuant to section 47-316, Idaho Code, who encounters a geothermal resource, and who intends or desires to utilize such resource, shall make application for a geothermal permit as required under this section, provided however, that no additional filing fee shall be required.
(11) A geothermal resource shall be utilized primarily for its heat value. Usage of a geothermal resource primarily for some reason other than its heat value shall not be deemed a beneficial use of the resource.
[42-4003, added 1972, ch. 301, sec. 4, p. 749; am. 1974, ch. 20, sec. 51, p. 533; am. 1974, ch. 297, sec. 2, p. 1753; am. 1987, ch. 347, sec. 15, p. 758; am. 2007, ch. 189, sec. 1, p. 554; am. 2012, ch. 111, sec. 6, p. 307; am. 2017, ch. 271, sec. 30, p. 710.]