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

4VAC25-170-30. Bonds, permits and fees.

A. 1. Before any person shall engage in drilling for geothermal resources or construction of a geothermal well in Virginia, such person shall give bond with surety acceptable to the division director and payable to the Commonwealth. At the election of the permit applicant, a cash bond may be given. The amount of bond required shall be sufficient to cover the costs of properly plugging the well and restoring the site, but in no case shall the amount of bond be less than $10,000 for each exploratory and injection well, and $25,000 for each production well. Blanket bonds of $100,000 may be granted at the discretion of the division director.

2. The return of such bonds shall be conditioned on the following requirements:

a. Compliance with all statutes, rules, and regulations relating to geothermal regulations and the permit.

b. Plugging and abandoning the well as approved by the division director in accordance with 4VAC25-170-80.

3. A land stabilization bond of $1,000 per acre of land disturbed shall be required. Such bond will be released once drilling is completed and the land is reclaimed in accordance with 4VAC25-170-40.

4. Liability under any bond may not be terminated without written approval of the division director.

B. Each exploration, production, and injection well permit application shall be accompanied by payment of a $600 application fee.

1. Applications will not be reviewed until the operator or designated agent submits proof of compliance with all pertinent local ordinances.

Before commencement of exploratory drilling operations on any tract of land, the operator or designated agent shall file an exploration permit application with the department. An accurate map of the proposed wells on an appropriate scale showing adjoining property lines and the proposed locations using the Virginia Coordinate System of 1983 ( § 1-600 of the Code of Virginia), and the depths and surface elevations shall be filed with the application. The application also shall include an inventory of local water resources in the area of proposed development.

2. Before commencement of production or injection well drilling, an application to produce and inject geothermal fluids shall be filed in the form of a notice of intent to proceed in accordance with the provisions of 4VAC25-170-40.

3. New permit applications must be submitted if, either prior to or during drilling, the operator desires to change the location of a proposed well. If the new location is within the boundaries established by the permit or within an unitized drilling operation, the application may be made orally and the division director may orally authorize the commencement or continuance of drilling operations. Within 10 days after obtaining oral authorization, the operator shall file a new application to drill at the new location. A permit may be issued and the old permit canceled without payment of additional fee. If the new location is located outside the unitized drilling unit covered by the first permit, no drilling shall be commenced or continued until the new permit is issued.

4. All applications, requests, maps, reports, records, notices, filings, submissions, and other data (including report forms) required by or submitted to the department shall be in electronic form or a format prescribed by the director.

5. The department will act on all permit applications within 30 days of receipt of an application or as soon thereafter as practical.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-04-13 § 3, eff. May 1, 1984; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 2, eff. October 24, 2012; Volume 33, Issue 21, eff. July 27, 2017; Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

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