ORS 522.019¹
Injection of geothermal fluids
  • rules
  • water pollution control facilities permit

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(Policy) all geothermal fluids derived from geothermal resources shall be reinjected into the same reservoir from which withdrawn unless it is determined by the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries that these policies and the public interest require other disposal of the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

Chapter 522

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Power of Depart­ment of Environ­mental Quality to regulate recovery of geothermal resources, (1972) Vol 35, p 1100; require­ments for exploring for or produc­tion of geothermal or oil or gas resources, (1974) Vol 37, p 68

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 522—Geothermal Resources, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­522.­html (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2007, Chapter 522, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­522ano.­htm (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.
Currency Information