Geothermal Environment in Oregon
At a Glance
|Environmental Review Process:||None|
|Environmental Review Agency:|
|Type of State Environmental Review (Leasing Stage):||None|
|Type of State Environmental Review (Non-invasive Exploration):||None|
|Type of State Environmental Review (Invasive Exploration):||None|
|Type of State Environmental Review (Drilling):||None|
|Type of State Environmental Review (Power Plant Siting):||None|
|Contacts/Agencies:||Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality|
State Environment Process
Idaho does not have a state environmental review process. However, developers must comply with cultural resource, biological resource, water quality, air quality, and hazardous waste and materials rules where applicable.
Cultural Resource Assessment
Developers must complete the Oregon cultural consideration process through the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and if cultural resources are unearthed in a project area the developer must obtain an Archaeological permit. The process is regulated under O.R.S. 97, O.R.S. 358, and O.A.R. 736-051. If the project is likely to unearth cultural resources, developers must consult with tribes and submit a project plan subject to review by HPO. If cultural resources are unearthed the developer must commence the Archaeological Permit Application process. The application process involves cultural surveying of the project area and an associated report, as well as development of a mitigation plan subject to SHPO approval.
If a developer proposes activity within an area containing endangered or threatened species and the activity might result in the incidental take of a member of those species, the developer should obtain an incidental take permit through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). The state process is regulated under O.A.R. 635-100. Developers should consult the Oregon State Endangered Species List. The permitting process requires the developer to apply for an incidental take permit subject to approval of the DFW. DFW will approve incidental take permits if an incidental take of the type applied for will not adversely impact the long-term conservation of the species or its habitat.
Developers must submit a fish and wildlife mitigation plan to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) if a proposed project will impact the habitat of fish and wildlife. Mitigation plan requirements are regulated under O.A.R. 635-415. Mitigation plan requirements differ based on the management category of the impacted habitat. DFW may require posting of bond to cover the cost of required mitigation measures. Developers are required to comply with the mitigation plan and mitigation policies of DFW.
Water Quality Permitting
Developers may be required to obtain several permits related to water quality issues, including permits for nonpoint source pollution, NPDES permitting, underground injection control, 401 water quality certification, and ground water discharge.
Developers must contact the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to ensure compliance with Oregon’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Control program to ensure Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standards for impaired waters are not exceeded. Projects with surface runoff might result in violation of TMDL standards and are subject to the Nonpoint Source Pollution Control program.
Developers proposing activities that will discharge pollutants from a point source into state water supplies must obtain either an individual or general National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Permit approval is regulated under O.A.R. 340-045. The permit process involves DEQ review of the application, notice and comment, public hearings, and is subject to DEQ approval.
Developers proposing to construct, operate, modify, or abandon an underground injection control (UIC) well must obtain an Industrial Individual Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) Permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The permitting process is regulated under O.A.R. 340-044. This process applies to geothermal closed loop systems, dewatering injection systems, roof drains and some stormwater injection systems. Applications must be accompanied by a storm water management plan and involve a notice and comment period during the DEQ review process.
If a developer receives a federal license or permit to conduct an activity that may result in a discharge into the waters of the United States, the developer must obtain a Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WCQ) Permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). WCQ permits are required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251, and O.A.R. 340-048. No permit is required if the project does not require a federal license or permit, or will not discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. WCQ Permit Applications are subject to approval by the DEQ.
Developers seeking to operate a facility disposing of wastewater must obtain a Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). WPCF permits are regulated under O.A.R. 340-045 and O.A.R. 340-071. Examples of systems that require WPCF permits include: land irrigation systems, evapotranspiration lagoons, industrial seepage pits, and on-site sewage disposal systems. Applications must include a preliminary engineering report and are subject to DEQ review. The review process will include public notice and participation.
Developers seeking to install a septic system must obtain a Water Pollution Control Facilities (WPCF) and a Construction-Installation permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). These permitting processes for septic systems are regulated under O.R.S. 454, O.A.R. 340-071, and O.A.R. 340-073. WPCF permits are required for septic systems with a projected daily sewage flow greater than 2,500 gallons, that handle sewage with a greater strength than residential wastewater, or use technology identified as warranting regulation. The Construction-Installation permit review process involves payment of fees, site evaluation report, and a land use compatibility statement.
Air Quality Assessment Process
Developers seeking to construct a stationary source of air pollution must obtain an Air Contaminant Discharge Permit (ACDP) from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The permitting process is regulated under O.R.S. 468A, O.A.R. 340-209, and O.A.R. 340-216. The permitting process involves public notice and comment, and a public hearing.
Waste and Hazardous Material Assessment Process
Projects requiring the use of an underground storage tank are subject to certification requirements. In addition, projects that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste must obtain a Hazardous Waste Permit.
Developers seeking to install, operate, or close an underground storage tank (UST) or UST system must obtain a General Permit Registration Certification from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The certification process is regulated under O.A.R. 340-150. The process requires EPA notice, submittal of a signed statement, and payment of a registration fee. Developers must comply with all installation and operator requirements including payment of annual compliance fees.
Owners and operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities must obtain a Hazardous Waste Permit as required by O.R.S. 466, O.A.R. 340-105, O.A.R. 340-106, and O.A.R. 340-120. The State of Oregon regulates permitting of TSD facilities through the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The Hazardous Waste Permit process involves submission of a land use compatibility statement, plans, evidence of compliance with state siting requirements, and payment of fees. The review process involves a public notice and comment period, a public hearing, and state agency consultation.
Local Environment Process
Policies & Regulations
- An Introduction to Electric Power Transmission
- CHAT: Crucial Habitat Assessment Tools
- EPA Citizens Guide to Hazardous Waste Permitting Process
- Environmental Recommendations for Transmission Planning
- O.A.R. 660-006
- O.A.R. 660-033
- Oregon Air Contaminant Discharge Permits Webpage
- Oregon Air Contaminant Discharge Webpage
- Oregon Application for Onsite Sewage Treatment System
- Oregon Coastal Management Program Website
- Oregon Construction/Installation Permit for Onsite Wastewater Treatment System
- Oregon DEQ Hazardous Waste Fact Sheet
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Contacts Webpage
- Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Department - Forest Land Protectio Program
- Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development - Farmland Protection Program
- Oregon Federal and State Compliance for Historic and Archaeological Resources Webpage
- Oregon Federal and State Historic Preservation Laws Webpage
- Oregon Fees for Underground Injection Control Program Fact Sheet
- Oregon General Industrial Water Pollution Control Facilities Webpage
- Oregon Guidelines for Stormwater Management Plans for Removal/Fill Permit Applications
- Oregon Land Use Compatibility Statement for Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Permits
- Oregon Land Use Compatibility Statements Website
- Oregon Modification Application Geothermal Wells Form
- Oregon NPDES Permits, Forms, and Information
- Oregon NPDES Storm Water Discharge Permit (DEQ Form 1200-A)
- Oregon National Register and Survey Program Webpage
- Oregon Nonpoint Source Program Implementation Webpage
- Oregon Onsite Wastewater Management Program Forms by County Webpage
- Oregon Onsite Wastewater Management Program Webpage
- Oregon Plugging Record Form
- Oregon Procedure and Criteria for Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage or Disposal Permits Fact Sheet
- Oregon Removal-Fill Permit Application Webpage
- Oregon Rulemaking Announcement for Onsite Septic System Program
- Oregon Section 401 Removal/Fill Certification Webpage
- Oregon State Endangered Species List
- Oregon Stormwater Permit Application Forms and Permit Fees Website
- Oregon Underground Injection Control Program Authorized Injection Systems Webpage
- Oregon Underground Injection Control Program Webpage
- Oregon Underground Injection Control Registration Application Fees (DEQ Form UIC 1003-GIC)
- Oregon Underground Injection Control Registration Geothermal Heating Systems (DEQ Form UICGEO-1004(f))
- Oregon Water Quality Permit Program (Stormwater - Industrial Activities) Website
- Oregon Water Quality Permit Program (Stormwater Discharge Permits) Website
- Oregon Willamette River Basin Mitigation Agreement