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RAPID

Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Geothermal Land Use Planning Overview (1)

Land Use Plans (LUPs) are used by local, state and federal agencies to manage public lands and they form the basis for every action and approved use of those lands. Different agencies will refer to LUPs by different names, but all LUPs serve the same purpose; to dictate what actions can and cannot be taken on the managed unit of land. Non-conforming uses require a LUP be amended or revised before a right-of-way or special use permit can be authorized.


In addition, some state and local land may be governed by state LUPs. A developer should check to see if a LUP is applicable to the project site, and if so, whether the LUP allows for utility-scale geothermal development. If the LUP does not allow for utility-scale geothermal development, the developer should initiate the state or local land use plan amendment process.

Before approval of a notice of intent to conduct exploration (NOI), Geothermal Drilling Permit (GGDP), or sundry notice operations plan, an onsite inspection will be conducted with the operator to further identify site-specific resource protection concerns and requirements. Prior to, or in conjunction with, the onsite inspection, the surface management agency will advise the operator of any special inventories or studies that are required, such as for cultural resources or threatened and endangered species.


Land Use Planning Overview Process

1.1 to 1.2 - For a Given Location, Is Geothermal Exploration and Development Consistent with the Land Use Plan?

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 requires the Bureau of Land Management to use land use plans to manage resources in a manner consistent with Congress' intent. Most federal, state and county governments will have similar land use plans. The developer should consult the applicable land use plan to determine whether the project is consistent with the current land use plan.


1.3 to 1.4 - Is the Plan To Be Addressed for State or Federal Land?

State LUPs may govern some state lands. A developer should check to see if a LUP is applicable to the project site, and if so, whether the LUP allows geothermal development. If the LUP does not allow for geothermal development, the developer should initiate the state land use plan amendment process.

Alaska

In Alaska, the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) (Commissioner), the Director, and the Resource Assessment & Development Section of the Division of Mining, Land and Water have primary responsibility for land use planning. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-AK-a

California

In California, land use planning is delegated to city and county governments. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-CA-a

Colorado

Colorado delegates land use planning to regional, county, and municipal planning commissions. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-CO-a

Hawaii

Hawaii uses a statewide planning system to coordinate long-term land use decisions and state agencies coordinate state land use planning at the county level. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-HI-a

Idaho

In Idaho, land use planning is delegated to city and county governments. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-ID-a

Montana

In Montana, land use planning is delegated to municipal governments. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-MT-a

New Mexico

In New Mexico, land use planning is delegated to municipalities and counties. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-NM-a

Nevada

In Nevada, land use planning is delegated to municipalities and counties. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-NV-a

Oregon

In Oregon, land use planning is guided by statewide land use goals and achieved through local comprehensive planning. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-OR-a

Texas

In Texas, land use planning is delegated to municipalities. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-TX-a

Utah

In Utah, land use planning is delegated to municipalities. For more information, see:

Land Use Planning:
1-UT-a

Washington

In Washington, land use planning is primarily delegated to municipalities. For more information, see

Land Use Planning:
1-WA-a

1.5 to 1.6 - Is This a New Plan, Plan Revision, or a Plan Amendment?

If the project requires a federal land use plan amendment, see:

Land Use Plan Amendment Process:
1-FD-b


1.7 - Land Use Planning

If the project is subject to a new federal land use plan or revision, see: Land Use Planning Process:
1-FD-a




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