Department of Environmental Conservation

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Geothermal Wells

For wells 500 feet deep or less

DEC's Division of Water (DOW) regulates wells up to 500 feet deep. The drilling, construction, operation, and plugging of geothermal wells over 500 feet is regulated by DEC's Division of Mineral Resources (DMN).

NYS law requires driller and pump installer registration and certification with DOW for open-loop or standing column systems. Driller registration and certification is not required for closed-loop geothermal systems with boreholes drilled up to 500 feet deep.

NYS law requires that preliminary notice and well completion reports be filed with DOW for open-loop or standing column systems with boreholes drilled up to 500 feet deep. NYS law does not require pre-notification or a well completion report for closed-loop geothermal systems with boreholes drilled up to 500 feet deep.

A State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Permit may be required for certain open-loop systems.

Although not currently required by NYS law, geothermal contractors may take Certified Vertical Closed Loop Driller (CVCLD) Exam offered by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). Geothermal contractors may also be accredited and/or certified by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). See "Links Leaving DEC's Website" (on the right-hand column) for additional information for geothermal well contracting and ownership.

Additional Requirements For Wells in Nassau, Suffolk, Kings and Queens Counties

A Part 602 permit (leaves DEC website) is required for all open-loop or standing column geothermal systems with boreholes drilled up to 500 feet deep with the capability of producing more than 45 gpm (gallons per minute). The permit application must be filed with the DEC Regional Headquarters office in Stony Brook, NY. A Permit Application may be obtained by email or by calling 631-444-0405.