RAPID/Geothermal/Montana/Exploration

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RAPID

Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Montana Geothermal Exploration Permitting(4-MT)

Pre-drilling Exploration

Developers exploring for geothermal resources in Montana must file a Geothermal Exploration Plan with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

In addition, developers seeking to conduct exploration activities (not amounting to drilling/well field development) for geothermal resources in Montana must file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the county clerk and recorder of the applicable county prior to conducting the exploration. MCA 82-1-103. Exploration activities can include any physical activity conducted on or below the surface of the earth resulting in disturbance of the earth, including the gathering of geological data by boring of test holes or other underground exploration, investigation, or experimentation. Montana Rule 17.20.201. The applicable county clerk and recorder will forward the notice of intent to the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation and (assuming there are no compliance issues with the NOI) subsequently issue a geophysical exploration permit to the developer. MCA 82-1-105.

Exploration Drilling

Currently, Montana does not have a well established process for obtaining a permit to drill for geothermal resources required for exploration drilling activities. Interested developers should contact the MDNRC for information and requirements.

Unless an exception applies, geothermal exploration wells, are regulated under laws pertaining to water wells, and require hiring a licensed water well contractor ( MCA 37-43-104). In almost all cases drilling and associated construction will require the MEPA review.

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

Montana Federal

Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Montana Department of Environmental Quality Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service
Pre-Drilling Exploration Permit: Developers exploring for geothermal resources in Montana must file a Geothermal Exploration Plan with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. In addition, developers seeking to conduct exploration activities (not amounting to drilling/well field development) for geothermal resources in Montana must file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the county clerk and recorder of the applicable county prior to conducting the exploration. MCA 82-1-103. Notice of Intent to Conduct Geothermal Resource Exploration Operations (Form 3200-009)
Drilling Exploration Permit Agency: Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation Bureau of Land Management
Drilling Exploration Permit: Currently, Montana does not have a well established process for obtaining a permit to drill for geothermal resources required for exploration drilling activities. Interested developers should contact the MDNRC for information and requirements. 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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