Enel Green Power - North America

Geothermal Guidance

This page serves as a central point of reference and as a repository of reading material and information for the BLM’s geothermal program. Resources included on this page are the following: information about geothermal energy projects, forms, the Code of Federal Regulations, the 1970 Geothermal Steam Act, the BLM’s geothermal Programmatic EIS, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, E-Planning, BLM Geothermal Resource Orders, BLM Instruction Memoranda, guidance for exploration development, surface operating standards and guidelines, cooperative agreements, frequently asked questions, guidance for development on Indian lands and consultation with Tribes, and state-specific regulations.


Code of Federal Regulations

30 USC 1004 Geothermal Rents and Royalties
30 CFR Parts 202, 206, 210, 217 and 218 Geothermal Royalty Payments, Direct Use Fees, and Royalty Valuation
40 CFR 1500-1508, 1515 Royalty Environmental Protection and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
43 CFR 2800 Rights-of-Way under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
43 CFR 3000 Minerals Management
43 CFR 3000.12 Schedule for Fixed Fees, Updated Annually
43 CFR 3200 Geothermal Leasing and Operations
43 CFR 3280 Geothermal Unit Agreements

BLM Instruction Memoranda and Information Bulletins

WO IM-2019-013 National Policy for  Rights-of-Way Bonding
WO IM-2016-071 Geothermal Temperature Gradient Well Permitting and Operating Requirements
WO IM-2014-007 Geothermal Lease Management
WO IM-2014-007 Geothermal Diligent Exploration Expenditure Requirement Violations
WO IM-2013-105 Adjudication of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Operating Rights Assignments
WO IM-2013-033 Fluid Minerals Operations - Reducing Preventable Causes of Direct Wildlife Mortality
WO IB-2011-072 Establishment of the National Renewable Energy Coordination Office
WO IM-2010-173 Renewable Energy Generated or Purchased for the Bureau of Land Management's Owned Facilities
WO IM-2009-022 Geothermal Leasing under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct)
WO IM-2007-021 Integration of Best Management Practices into Application for Permit to Drill Approvals and Associated Rights-of-Way

State Specific Guidance




BLM/NDOM 2006 MOU for Coordination of OGG Permitting and Inspection 
Geothermal Energy Projects Table Documents may be superseded or revised at a later date
MOU NDOM BLM 2006 NDEP and NDOM Injection Well 2008
NAC 445A NDEP Water Pollution Control
NRS 445A NDEP Water Controls
NRS 534A NDOM Geothermal Resources
NV IM-2016-045 Procedure for Granting Verbal Approvals for Fluid Mineral Permits
NV IM-2015-008 Rent for Non-Linear Rights-of-Way and Permits
NV IM-2014-034 Geothermal Exploration Permit Guidance Direction
NV IM-2014-031 Fluid Mineral Leasing of Lands Adjacent to Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas
NV IM-2014-016 Delegation of Authority for Adjudicating and Processing Geothermal Leasing
NV IM-2013-024 Geothermal Permitting
NV IM-2013-023 Procedure for Granting Verbal Approvals for Fluid Mineral Permits
NV IM-2013-009 Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Greater Sage-Grouse Interim Management Policies and Procedures
NV IM-2012-009 Geothermal Exploration Permit Guidance Direction
NV IM-2010-063 Guidance for the Development of Project-Specific Avian and Bat Protection Plans for Renewable Energy Facilities
NV IM-2010-037 Procedure for Granting Verbal Approvals for Fluid Mineral Permits
NV IM-2008-022 Geothermal Drilling Permit (GDP) Processing
NV IM-2004-035 Signing of Geothermal Hazards
State Protocol Agreement Implementing the National Historic Preservation Act

New Mexico


BLM MOU OR936-0903 Coordination on Energy Right-of-Way Projects in the State of Oregon
BLM MOU OR936-1505 Cooperating Agency Status for Preparation of the Mt. Baker Geothermal Consent to Lease Environmental Assessment
OR IM-2011-042 Formation of the Oregon BLM Renewable Energy Mitigation and Stipulations Interdisciplinary Team and Summary of Current Mitigation Policy
OR IM-2010-009 Withdrawal of Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan, Western Oregon Plan Revision and Continued Implementation of 1995 Resource Management Plans


Related Resources


Memoranda of Understanding

BLM MOU WO 300-2006-08 BLM/FS MOU for Leasing and Permitting

BLM Final PEIS on Geothermal Leasing




Native Americans 

EO 13007 Indian Sacred Sites
Manual 8120 Tribal Consultation
Standard Operating Procedures Onshore Federal and Indian Energy and Mineral Lease Management

BLM Geothermal Resources Operational Orders – 1970

** Note: Geothermal Resource Orders 1, 5, 6, and 7 are superseded by other regulations. Please consult the Code of Federal Regulations.
BLM Geothermal Order 1 Exploratory Operations **
BLM Geothermal Order 2 Drilling, Completion, and Spacing of Geothermal Wells 
BLM Geothermal Order 3 Plugging and Abandonment of Wells
BLM Geothermal Order 4 General Environmental Protection Requirements
BLM Geothermal Order 5 Plans of Operation, Permits, Reports, Records, and Forms **
BLM Geothermal Order 6 Pipelines and Surface Production Facilities **
BLM Geothermal Order 7 Production and Royalty Measurement, Equipment, and Testing Procedures **