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Montana Geothermal


Geothermal Regulatory Roadmap for Montana

Overview Flowchart
The flowcharts listed below were developed as part of the Geothermal Regulatory Roadmap project. The flowcharts cover the major requirements for developing geothermal energy, including, land access, exploration and drilling, plant construction and operation, transmission siting, water resource acquisition, and relevant environmental considerations.

Reading the Roadmap

The flowcharts are divided into General, Federal, and Montana columns to allow for ease of use. To use the flowcharts, start with General Flowchart for Section 1, or jump to the General Flowchart for a section you are interested in. These General Flowcharts will lead you to the federal and state flowcharts you will need. The overview flowchart on the right will help you decide where to begin.

  • For more information on reading these flowcharts, Visit the "Getting Started" Section.
  • If you’d like to compare Montana’s regulations with those in other states, see the entire listing of flowcharts
  • The GRR is continually being updated and added to. Some flowcharts have not yet been developed, but placeholders have been created. If you have input on any of these processes, please feel free to login to make updates, or .


The flowcharts have been reviewed by relevant agency, developer and legal personnel, and are meant to serve as a guide to obtaining the permits needed for geothermal power plant development and a way to communicate the process among interested parties. This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. None of the individuals or agencies involved in developing this document warrant or certify that the information on this page is accurate. The services of a competent professional should be sought if legal or other specific expert assistance is required.

Federal Flowcharts

1-FD-a: BLM Land Use Planning Process
1-FD-b: BLM Land Use Plan Amendment Process
1-FD-c: USFS Land Use Planning Process
1-FD-d: USFS Land Use Plan Amendment Process
3-FD-a: Federal Geothermal Land Leasing
3-FD-b: Tribal Land Leasing
3-FD-c: Right-of-Way Access
3-FD-d: Forest Service Special Use Authorization
3-FD-e: Bureau of Reclamation Use Authorization
4-FD-a: Exploration Application Process BLM
4-FD-b: Exploration Pre-Application Process (NV only)
4-FD-c: Exploration Application Process USFS
4-FD-d: BLM Exploration Operations
5-FD-a: Drilling Application Process
5-FD-b: Drilling Pre-Application Process NV only
6-FD-a: Storm Water Construction General Permit
7-FD-a: Utilization Application Process
7-FD-b: Plant Commissioning Process
7-FD-c: PURPA Qualifying Facility Certification Process
7-FD-d: Exempt Wholesale Generator Status Process
8-FD-a: FERC Order No. 2003 Process for Interconnection
8-FD-b: FERC Order No. 792 Process for Interconnection
9-FD-a: BLM NEPA Process
9-FD-b: BLM Environmental Assessment (EA) Process
9-FD-c: BLM Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Process
9-FD-d: BLM Appeals Process
9-FD-e: DOE NEPA Process
9-FD-f: DOD NEPA Process
11-FD-a: NHPA Section 106 - Resource Survey
11-FD-b: Tribal Consultation
11-FD-c: NHPA Section 106 - Assessment of Adverse Effects
11-FD-d: NHPA Section 106 - Resolution of Adverse Effects
12-FD-a: Migratory Bird Considerations
12-FD-b: Bald & Golden Eagle Permit
12-FD-c: ESA Section 7 Consultation Process
12-FD-d: ESA Section 10 Incidental Take Permit
12-FD-e: National Marine Fisheries Service Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Harassment Authorization Process
12-FD-f: National Marine and Fisheries Service Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Take Letter of Authorization Process
12-FD-g: Fish and Wildlife Service Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Harassment Authorization Process
12-FD-h: Fish and Wildlife Service Marine Mammal Protection Act Incidental Take Letter of Authorization Process
13-FD-a: Farmland Evaluation Process
13-FD-b: Military Land Evaluation
13-FD-c: Bridge Permit Application Process
13-FD-d: Aeronautical Considerations
13-FD-e: Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10 Permitting Process
13-FD-f: DOD Clearinghouse Mission Compatibility Evaluation Process
14-FD-a: Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Application Process
14-FD-b: EPA NPDES Permitting Process
14-FD-c: EPA UIC Process
17-FD-a: Wild & Scenic Rivers 7(a)
18-FD-a: CERCLA Process
18-FD-b: Aboveground Storage Tank
18-FD-c: Brownfield Grant Application
20-FD-a: Well Abandonment Process