Oregon Statutes - Chapter 522 - Geothermal Resources - Section 522.019 - Injection of geothermal fluids; rules; water pollution control facilities permit.

(1)(a) In order to accomplish the policy of ORS 522.015 all geothermal fluids derived from geothermal resources shall be reinjected into the same reservoir from which withdrawn unless it is determined by the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries that these policies and the public interest require other disposal of the fluids.

(b) Subject to the determination in paragraph (a) of this subsection, injection into other reservoirs or disposal by other means may be allowed by the department in specific instances where it is shown that such action is consistent with the policies cited in this section. Disposal by other means may include any secondary use of geothermal fluid after the primary use of such fluid for electrical power generation or for other direct application of the heat or other associated energy contained in such fluids or for by-product extraction. Secondary uses may include, but shall not be limited to, use of condensate resulting from electrical power plant operations for plant-cooling purposes, or use of such geothermal fluid for agricultural, commercial or industrial purposes.

(2) The State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries shall adopt rules which govern the disposal by reinjection or other means of geothermal fluids derived from geothermal resources from wells of 250 or more degrees Fahrenheit bottom hole temperature or wells 2,000 or more feet deep. The rules shall include standards whereby contamination may be determined, construction standards for reinjection wells, testing procedures for identifying aquifers, standards and procedures for determining whether adjacent aquifers are being degraded by the reinjection process, guidelines for conservation of the resource, criteria for evaluating reservoirs or zones for geothermal fluid disposal and requirements for prior approval of all geothermal fluid reinjection proposals.

(3) A water pollution control facilities permit shall be obtained from the Department of Environmental Quality under ORS 468B.050 before reinjection is commenced. The Department of Environmental Quality may, by agreement with the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, waive this requirement for reinjection into the reservoir from which the fluid came where adequate standards and tests have been adopted to insure the fluid and its residues are uncontaminated. [1979 c.163 §4; 1979 c.547 §1]

Section:  Previous  522.005  522.010  522.015  522.019  522.020  522.025  522.035  522.045  522.050  522.055  522.060  522.065  522.070  522.075  522.085  Next

Last modified: August 7, 2008