RAPID/Geothermal/Hawaii/Exploration

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Hawaii Geothermal Exploration Permitting(4-HI)

Developers must obtain a Geothermal Exploration Permit from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division to conduct any exploration activity on state or reserved lands for evidence of geothermal resources, including geophysical operations, drilling of shallow temperature test holes, construction of roads and trials, and vehicle travel. The Geothermal Exploration Permit application process is regulated under under H.R.S. 182-6 and H.A.R. 13-183. State lands are public domain lands managed by the State of Hawaii, while reserved lands are “lands owned or leased by any person in which the state or its predecessors in interest has reserved to itself expressly or by implication the minerals or the right to mine minerals, or both.” H.R.S. 182-1 Definitions. If the exploration process will be invasive, developers are subject to the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) environmental review process. In addition, the developer must initiate the drilling a well development permit process. Exploration requires a surety bond and also requires a final report upon expiration of the exploration permit.

Developers must obtain a Drilling or Modification Permit from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division to drill, modify, or modify the use of a well for geothermal exploration beyond a shallow temperature test hole of 500 feet or less. The Drilling or Modification Permit application process is regulated under H.A.R. 13-183. The application process involves payment of a filing fee and review by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. To obtain a Drilling Permit, the permitting agency must have completed the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) environmental review process for the proposed drilling activities.

More Information

Determine Which State and 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

Hawaii Federal

Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service
Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit: A developer is required to obtain a Geothermal Exploration Permit from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division to conduct any exploration activity on state or reserved lands for evidence of geothermal resources, including geophysical operations, construction of roads and trials, and vehicle travel. [1][2] Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-009)
Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division Bureau of Land Management
Drilling Exploration Permit: Drilling of shallow temperature test holes less than 500 feet in depth or less requires a Geothermal Exploration Permit from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division. A developer seeking to drill, modify, or modify the use of a well for exploration or development must receive a drilling or modification permit prior to conducting the operation. [2] Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-009) (Temperature Gradient Well); Geothermal Drilling Permit (Form 3260-002) (All other drilling activities)

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List of Reference Sources

  1. Hawaii Revised Statute 182-6 Exploration (2012).
  2. 2.0 2.1 HAR 13-183 Rules on Leasing and Drilling of Geothermal Resources (1981).
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