H. R. 2171
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 14, 2011
Mr. Labrador (for himself, Mr. Hastings of Washington, Mr. Lamborn, Mr. Broun of Georgia, Mr. Duncan of Tennessee, and Mr. Wittman) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To promote timely exploration for geothermal resources under existing geothermal leases, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Exploring for Geothermal Energy on
Federal Lands Act.
Geothermal exploration notice and exclusion
Definition of geothermal exploration test project
In this section the term geothermal exploration test project means the drilling of a well to test or explore for geothermal resources on lands leased by the Department of the Interior for the development and production of geothermal resources, that—
is carried out by the holder of the lease;
less than 1 acre of soil or vegetation disruption at the location of each geothermal exploration well; and
not more than 5 acres of soil or vegetation disruption during access or egress to the test site;
no deeper than 2,500 feet;
less than 8 inches in diameter;
in a manner that does not require off-road motorized access other than to and from the well site along an identified off-road route for which notice is provided to the Secretary of the Interior under subsection (c);
without construction of new roads other than upgrading of existing drainage crossings for safety purposes; and
with the use of rubber-tired digging or drilling equipment vehicles; and
is completed in less than 45 days, including—
removal of any surface infrastructure from the site; and
restoration of the project site to approximately the condition that existed at the time the project began.
Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall not apply with respect to a project that the Secretary of the Interior determines under subsection (c) is a geothermal exploration test project.
Notice of intent; review and determination
Requirement to provide notice
A leaseholder intending to carry out a geothermal exploration test project shall provide notice to the Secretary of the Interior not later than 30 days prior to the start of drilling under the project.
Review of project
The Secretary shall by not later than 10 days after receipt of a notice of intent under paragraph (1) from a leaseholder—
review the project described in the notice and determine whether it is a geothermal exploration test project under subsection (a);
notify the leaseholder—
that under subsection (b) of this section, section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) does not apply to the project; or
that section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) applies to the project, including clear and detailed findings on any deficiencies in the project that preclude the application of subsection (b) of this section to the project..
Opportunity to remedy
If the Secretary provides notice under paragraph (2)(B)(ii) that section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) applies to the project, the Secretary shall provide the leaseholder an opportunity to remedy the deficiencies described in the notice prior to the date the leaseholder intended to start of drilling under the project.