RAPID/Geothermal/Federal/Drilling & Well Development

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Federal Geothermal Drilling & Well Development(5-FD)

Developers must obtain an approved Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002) from the Bureau of Land Management in order to conduct drilling operations on federal land. Developers may also be required to work with the United States Forest Service (USFS) if the project is located on USFS managed lands. Developers will be required to submit project information and participate in pre-planning meetings with the BLM (and the USFS if necessary). If another federal agency manages the surface of the lease, then they will be involved in the application review process. Developers must complete the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act before the BLM will issue an Approved Geothermal Drilling Permit. Developers must post a bond or letter of credit prior to beginning exploration, drilling, or utilization operations.

If the developer’s project is located in Nevada, then they may choose to use a drilling pre-application process. Developers are required to submit a description of the proposed action and a map of the proposed location to the BLM for pre-application review. Developers must submit a Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002) to the BLM if their project involves drilling into, testing or developing production, observation, and injection wells. After the BLM has reviewed the pre-application materials, the Surface Management Agency will be given an opportunity to review the materials (if applicable). An on-site evaluation will be conducted by BLM and the developer. Developers will then be required to undergo the Geothermal Drilling Permit process with the BLM.

More Information

Determine Which Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance


Drilling & Well Field Permit Agency: Bureau of Land Management Bureau of Land Management
Drilling & Well Field Permit: Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002) Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002)

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