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Hawaii State Exploration Process (4-HI-a)

A developer is required to obtain a Geothermal Exploration Permit from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division under Hawaii Revised Statute 182-6 and Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 13, Chapter 183 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.


State Exploration Process Process

4-HI-a.1 – Geothermal Exploration Permit Application

Developers should submit all information required based on Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 13, Chapter 183, Subchapter 2 (13-183-8 and 13-183-9), including:

  • The name and address of the person, association, or corporation of the developer and who will in charge of the actual exploration activities;
  • a description of the type of proposed exploration activities;
  • a description of the land to be explored;
  • a map showing the lands to be entered or disturbed;
  • the approximate dates of the commencement and end of the exploration activities;
  • a statement by the applicant agreeing to submit a surety company bond for $10,000 for one exploration permit or $50,000 (if a person holds multiple exploration permits and wishes to submit one surety company bond) to the state of Hawaii within 25 days of approval of the permit application;
  • the name and address of the surface owner of the land;
  • evidence that the owner and the surface lessee, if any, has or has not consented to the entry upon the land and a description of the efforts made and reason for not securing the consent; and

a $100 non-refundable permit filing fee.

4-HI-a.2 – Review Application Materials and Data Request/Response

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division review the exploration permit application for completeness and request any necessary missing data.

4-HI-a.3 – Is the Application Complete

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division determine whether the exploration permit application is complete. and accepts the application if complete.

4-HI-a.4 - Will the Exploration Activities be invasive

If the exploration activities are invasive an environmental review process is required to conduct any exploration activity. Invasive exploration activities include:

  • Drilling of shallow temperature test holes;
  • Drilling deeper temperature test holes of greater than five-hundred feet in depth as determined by the board;
  • Construction of roads and trails; and
  • Cross-country transit by vehicle over state lands.

4-HI-a.5 - Initiate Environmental Process

If exploration activities will be invasive, developers are subject to the environmental review process before continuing the exploration process.

Environmental Overview: 9

4-HI-a.6 – Initiate Drilling and Well Development Permit

Since there is drilling involved in the exploration procedure, an accompanying Drilling and Well Development Permit is also required.

Drilling and Well Development:
5-HI-a

4-HI-a.7 – Accept Application

The DLNR accepts the complete application.

4-HI-a.8 – Does the Engineering Division Approve the Application Within 60 Days

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division has 60 days to approve the exploration permit application subject to the terms and conditions set by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR). If Engineering Division does not approve the application in 60 days and does not extend the permit application, the developer must resubmit the application to the Engineering Division.

4-HI-a.9 – Submit a Surety Company Bond

The developer must submit a surety company bond in the amount of $10,000 payable to the State of Hawaii within twenty days after notification that the exploration permit application is approved. If the developer holds more than one exploration permit in Hawaii, the developer may file a blanked bond in the amount of $50,000.

4-HI-a.10 – Geothermal Exploration Permit

Once the Engineering Division approves the exploration permit application and the developer submits a surety company bond, the Engineering Division issues the developer a Geothermal Exploration Permit. The Geothermal Exploration Permit may include conditions set by the BLNR.

4-HI-a.10 – Final Report

A final report is due to the Department of Land and Natural Resources within 60 days of the expiration of the exploration permit. The report shall be kept confidential until either a) 3 year period with a current mining lease, or b) 6 months from the expiration of the exploration permit.




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