On Monday Governor Inslee signed SB 5470, which the legislature unanimously passed to streamline Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permitting for drilling core holes used to gather geothermal data. Before SB 5470, each core hole required a separate permit, and if a core hole penetrated more than 750 feet into bedrock or geothermal energy was discovered, then a hearing was required. As a result of SB 5470, a single permit can cover multiple core holes and a hearing is not required, regardless of depth or discovery. Consequently, DNR permitting of all core holes will be exempt from the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). This DNR map illustrates geothermal resource potential across the state.
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