Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 170. Geothermal Energy Regulations
12/2/2022

4VAC25-170-20. Resource conservation.

A. In order to foster geothermal utilization, prevent waste, protect correlative rights, safeguard the natural environment, and promote geothermal resource conservation and management, the department may designate geothermal areas, require well spacing and unitization, and allow sequential utilization on a case-by-case basis.

B. Wells shall be classified as to the geothermal area from which they produce, and geothermal areas shall be determined, designated, and named by the department in accordance with the definition provided in 4VAC25-170-10. In designating geothermal areas, factors to be considered shall include but not be limited to common usage and geographic names; the surface topography and property lines of the land underlain by geothermal energy; the plan of well spacing being employed or proposed for the area; the depth at which resources have been found; and the nature and character of the producing formation or formations. In the event any person is dissatisfied with any such classification or determination, an application may be made to the department for reclassification or redetermination.

C. Information provided the division director in the notice of intent to proceed shall be used by the department to determine spacing between production wells and between production and injection wells. The department may also conduct independent investigations as deemed necessary to determine appropriate well spacing and utilization.

When two or more separately owned tracts of land lie within a geothermal area, the department may require unitized operations under supervision of the division director. Unitized drilling operations shall be operated according to the principle of correlative rights.

D. Persons desirous of engaging in sequential utilization shall file a formal request with the department that shall contain the following items:

1. A statement of the uses to be made of the geothermal resource.

2. Evidence that sequential utilization will not cause heat drawdown in the geothermal aquifer, cause land subsidence, hinder observation of the geothermal resource, or contaminate potable water supplies.

3. Requests for sequential utilization shall be reviewed and acted upon by the department within 45 days of receipt.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.1-179.7 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-04-13 § 2, eff. May 1, 1984; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 2, eff. October 24, 2012.

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