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Hawaii Reserved Land Leasing Process (3-HI-a)

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)Engineering Division oversees mineral leasing on Reserved Lands in Hawaii under Hawaii Revised Statutes 182-5 and Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 13, Subtitle 7, Chapter 183. Under HRS 182-1 "Reserved Lands" are defined as those 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 right to mine minerals, or both.


Reserved Land Leasing Process Process

3-HI-a.1 to 3-HI-a.2 – Is the Activity on State or Reserved Lands

If the activity is on reserved lands the developer will continue follow the “Reserved Lands” arrow and file an Application for Mining Lease on Reserved Lands. If the activity is on state lands the developer will follow the “State Lands” arrow and initiate the State Mineral Leasing Process.

State Mineral Leasing Process:
3-HI-b

3-HI-a.3 - Application for Mining Lease on Reserved Lands and Associated Documents

Any person desiring to lease reserved lands must submit three copies of an application to the DLNR on forms provided by the DLNR and a one hundred dollar non-refundable filing fee. The application must include:

  • A description and map of the land desired to be leased
  • A description of the known or potential geothermal resource desired to be leased for exploration and development
  • A brief preliminary proposal of plan for geothermal exploration and development and an assessment of the environmental impact
  • Certificate that the applicant is qualified to hold a mining lease under HAR 13-183-21 and that the officer executing the application is authorized to act on behalf of the development group.
  • Certificate that the acreage the developer desires to lease does not exceed the acreage limitations under HAR 13-183-28

3-HI-a.4 - Does the BLNR Decide that Granting a Mining Lease on Reserved Lands is in the Greater Interest of the State

The BLNR determines whether the proposed mining operation or the reasonably foreseeable future use of the land would be of greater benefit to the state. The BLNR must vote by a two-thirds majority to lease the land or the land is not available for lease. Any party adversely affected by the BLNR's decision can appeal to the circuit court.

3-HI-a.5 – Notify Occupier of the Land or Occupier’s Assignee of Finding to Lease

If the BLNR determines that leasing the reserved lands is to the greater benefit of the state, the DLNR notifies the surface occupier or the occupier’s assignee of the finding to lease the land.

3-HI-a.6 to 3-HI-a.7 – Does the Occupier of the Land or the Occupier’s Assignee Exercise the Right of First Refusal within 6 Months of Receiving Notice

The occupier of the land or the occupier’s assignee have the right of first refusal to a lease on the land for six months from the date of notice from the DLNR of a finding that it is in the public interest to develop the minerals on the reserved land. If the occupier or the occupier’s assignee do not exercise the right of first refusal in six months, the DLNR may lease the property through the State Mineral Leasing Process.

State Mineral Leasing Process:
3-HI-b

3-HI-a.8 - Geothermal Lease

If the occupier of the land or the occupier’s assignee exercises the right of first refusal within six months, the DLNR executes a lease with the occupier or the assignee for development of the geothermal resources.

3-HI-a.9 - Plan of Operations

The developer (occupier or occupier’s assignee) developers and submits a Plan of Operation to the DLNR. The Plan of Operation should include: The plan of operations must include:

  • The proposed location and elevation above sea level of derrick, proposed depth, bottom hole location, casing program, proposed well completion program and the size and shape of drilling site, excavation and grading planned, and location of existing and proposed access roads;
  • Existing and planned access, access controls and lateral roads
  • Location and source of water supply and road building material
  • Location of camp sites, air-strips, and othersupporting facilities
  • Other areas of potential surface disturbance
  • The topographic features of the land and the drainage patterns
  • Methods for disposing of well effluent and other waste
  • A narrative statement describing the proposed measures to be taken for protection of the environment, including, but not limited to the prevention or control of:

(A) Fires, (B) Soil erosion, (C) Pollution of the surface and ground water, (D) Damage to fish and wildlife or other natural resources, (E) Air and noise pollution and (F) Hazards to public health and safety during lease activities.

  • A geologist's preliminary survey report on the surface and sub-surface geology, nature and occurrence of the known or potential geothermal resources, surface water resources, and ground water resources;
  • All pertinent information or data which the chairperson may require to support the plan of operations for the utilization of geothermal resources and the protection of the environment;
  • Provisions for monitoring deemed necessary by the chairperson to insure compliance with these rules for the operations under the plan.




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Reserved Land Leasing Contact

morrisabbazabbamabbazabbaatta@hawaiiabbazabbagov