Nrs: Chapter 534A - Geothermal Resources

Link to law: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-534A.html
Published: 2015

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[Rev. 11/21/2013 12:18:53

PM--2013]



CHAPTER 534A - GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES

NRS 534A.010        “Geothermal

resource” defined.

NRS 534A.031        Exploration

and subsurface information: Filing with Division of Minerals of Commission on

Mineral Resources; confidentiality; release to State Engineer or other agency.

NRS 534A.040        Applicability

of procedures for appropriation.

NRS 534A.050        Ownership

of geothermal resources.

NRS 534A.060        Permit

required to drill or operate geothermal well or drill exploratory well;

application.

NRS 534A.070        Approval

or rejection of application for permit to drill exploratory well; review of

application for permit to drill or operate geothermal well; hearing;

conditions.

NRS 534A.080        Fees;

use of money.

NRS 534A.090        Regulations

of Commission on Mineral Resources.

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      NRS 534A.010  “Geothermal resource” defined.  As

used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, “geothermal

resource” means the natural heat of the earth and the energy associated with

that natural heat, pressure and all dissolved or entrained minerals that may be

obtained from the medium used to transfer that heat, but excluding hydrocarbons

and helium.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 611; A 1977, 1172; 1981, 659)

      NRS 534A.031  Exploration and subsurface information: Filing with Division of

Minerals of Commission on Mineral Resources; confidentiality; release to State

Engineer or other agency.

      1.  Any exploration and subsurface

information obtained as a result of a geothermal project must be filed with the

Division of Minerals of the Commission on Mineral Resources within 30 days

after it is accumulated. The information is confidential for 5 years after the

date of filing and may not be disclosed during that time without the express

written consent of the operator of the project, except that it must be made

available by the Division to the State Engineer or any other agency of the

State upon request. The State Engineer or other agency shall keep the

information confidential.

      2.  If any information made confidential by

subsection 1 is submitted to any other state or local governmental entity in

connection with an application for a special use permit or any other license,

permit or similar approval, the entity shall keep the information confidential

during the period the information is confidential pursuant to subsection 1.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 383; A 1985, 1303; 1993, 1701; 1999, 3633; 2013, 1143)

      NRS 534A.040  Applicability of procedures for appropriation.  A consumptive use of water brought to the

surface outside of a geothermal well is subject to the appropriation procedures

of chapters 533 and 534 of NRS, except for:

      1.  Water that is removed from an aquifer

or geothermal reservoir to develop and obtain geothermal resources if the water

is returned to or reinjected into the same aquifer or reservoir; or

      2.  The reasonable loss of water:

      (a) During a test of a geothermal well; or

      (b) From the temporary failure of all or part of

a system that removes water from an aquifer or geothermal reservoir, transfers

the heat from that water and reinjects that water into the same aquifer or

reservoir.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 611; A 1983, 2091; 1985, 1303; 1997, 284)

      NRS 534A.050  Ownership of geothermal resources.  The

owner of real property owns the rights to the underlying geothermal resources

unless they have been reserved by or conveyed to another person.

      (Added to NRS by 1983, 2091)

      NRS 534A.060  Permit required to drill or operate geothermal well or drill

exploratory well; application.

      1.  A person may not drill or operate a

geothermal well or drill an exploratory well without obtaining a permit from

the Administrator of the Division of Minerals of the Commission on Mineral

Resources and complying with the conditions of the permit.

      2.  An application must set forth such

information as the Administrator requires by regulation.

      (Added to NRS by 1983, 2091; A 1985, 1303; 1993, 1701; 1999, 3633)

      NRS 534A.070  Approval or rejection of application for permit to drill

exploratory well; review of application for permit to drill or operate

geothermal well; hearing; conditions.

      1.  The Administrator of the Division of

Minerals of the Commission on Mineral Resources shall approve or reject an

application for a permit to drill an exploratory well within 10 days after the

Administrator receives the application in proper form. The permit must not be

effective for more than 2 years, but may be extended by the Administrator.

      2.  Upon receipt of an application for a

permit to drill or operate a geothermal well, the Administrator of the Division

of Minerals shall transmit copies of the application to the State Engineer, the

Administrator of the Division of Environmental Protection of the State

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Director of the

Department of Wildlife. After consultation with the State Engineer, the

Administrator of the Division of Environmental Protection, and the Director of

the Department of Wildlife, the Administrator of the Division of Minerals may

issue a permit to drill or operate a geothermal well if it is determined that

issuance of a permit is consistent with:

      (a) The policies specified in NRS 445A.305 and 445B.100;

      (b) The purposes of chapters

533 and 534 of NRS; and

      (c) The purposes specified in chapter 501 of NRS.

      3.  The Administrator of the Division of

Minerals shall approve or reject the application to drill or operate a

geothermal well within 90 days after the Administrator receives it in proper

form, unless it is determined that a conflict exists pursuant to subsection 2

or a public hearing is necessary pursuant to subsection 4. Notice of the

conflict or need for a public hearing must be provided to the applicant within

the 90-day period.

      4.  The State Engineer and the

Administrator of the Division of Minerals may hold public hearings jointly or

separately to gather such evidence or information as they deem necessary for a

full understanding of all the rights involved and to guard properly the public

interest.

      5.  A permit issued pursuant to this

section must include any conditions:

      (a) Deemed necessary by the Administrator of the

Division of Minerals to carry out the purposes of this section; and

      (b) Imposed by the State Engineer consistent with

the provisions of chapters 533 and 534 of NRS.

      (Added to NRS by 1983, 2091; A 1985, 1304; 1987, 778; 1993, 1701; 1997, 509; 1999, 3633; 2003, 1581)

      NRS 534A.080  Fees; use of money.

      1.  The Commission on Mineral Resources

shall impose and collect a fee for examining and filing an application for a

permit to drill or operate a geothermal well or to drill an exploratory well.

The fee must be deposited with the State Treasurer, for credit to the Account

for the Division of Minerals created in the State General Fund pursuant to NRS 513.103.

      2.  The fee may be based in part on the

number of acres of land being used by the person who holds the permit.

      3.  The Commission and the Division of

Minerals may use the money deposited in the Account for the Division of

Minerals pursuant to this section to administer the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1983, 2091; A 1985, 1304; 1993, 111, 1702; 1995, 579)

      NRS 534A.090  Regulations of Commission on Mineral Resources.  The Commission on Mineral Resources may adopt

regulations necessary for carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1983, 2091)