Chaffee County releases 1041 geothermal regulations

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From The Mountain Mail (James Redmond):

Chaffee County officials released the draft version of their geothermal 1041 regulations and posted them on their website Thursday, in response to the release of draft regulations from partner Ouray County. To develop geothermal 1041 regulations, Chaffee County partnered with Archuleta and Ouray counties and Pagosa Springs to hire a consultant for the process, Jenny Davis, Chaffee County attorney, said.

With Ouray County releasing its draft regulations, which Davis said she presumes “are similar” to Chaffee County’s, “we’ve decided to just go ahead and release what we have.” The draft regulations “are subject to change,” and she said she thinks the consultant, Barb Green, will give the county a revised draft soon.

After the partners received a grant, Chaffee County’s portion of the contract for the consultant comes to $2,937.50, Don Reimer, Chaffee County development director, said.
County staff gave Green a list of concerns the county wanted to be included in its regulations, Reimer said. The county asked that the regulations contain clear language for development criteria; not conflict with state and federal regulations; protect the land use on adjacent and nearby properties; and protect water quality and rights.

Chaffee County currently has 1041 regulations for “Efficient Utilization of Municipal and Industrial Water Projects,” “Site Selection of New Domestic Water and Sewage Treatment Systems” and “Extension of Existing Domestic Water and Sewage Treatment Systems,” which the county adopted in 1991 and revised in 2003.

In 2003 the county also adopted 1041 regulations for “Site Selection and Development of New Communities” and “Regulations for Development in Areas Containing or Having a Significant Impact Upon Natural Resources of Statewide Importance.”

Reimer said, in his 10 years working at the county, only two 1041 applications did not get a statement of “no impact,” the Nestlé Waters application and the Pueblo West application for Hill Ranch, both of which went through the full process.

The draft regulations would prevent commercial electricity production using geothermal resources without first obtaining either a permit or statement of no impact. The regulations would apply to commercial electricity production on public and private land in unincorporated Chaffee County. The draft regulations would define and establish general regulatory provisions, designate of commercial geothermal energy production as a matter of state interest, and establish an application and review process.

The application process would consist of a pre-application conference; application submittal, determination of completeness, determination of eligibility for a statement of no impact and a permit review process.

The review process would include the Planning Commission and county staff.

Chaffee County officials also changed the date of the work session at which regulations will be discussed to 1:30 p.m. May 7 because the consultant could not make the original April 25 meeting, Davis said. The county will have the most current version of its geothermal 1041 draft regulations on its website, chaffeecounty.org.

More geothermal coverage here and here.

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