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Alaska Geothermal Environmental Review(9-AK)

Developers must participate in a best interests finding with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) if their project requires the state of Alaska to sell, lease, or otherwise “dispose” of state land. AS 38.05.035(e). The best interests finding is a written analysis that describes for the public the facts and applicable law that are relevant to the disposal and gives a decision based on certain factors. ADNR must make the written best interests finding available to the public, and developers may be required to participate in a public hearing. Alaska Stat. § 38.05.945 A written best interests finding is not required for transactions listed in AS 38.05.035(e)(6).

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Alaska Federal

Environmental Review: Best Interest Finding if the project requires the State of Alaska to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of state land. National Environmental Policy Act
Environmental Review Agency: Alaska Department of Natural Resources United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Energy, United States Department of Defense
Type of Environmental Review (Leasing Stage): Best Interest Finding Typically an Environmental Assessment (EA) is conducted for individual leases. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) may be required for programmatic environmental reviews or when reviewing multiple lease parcels in a single review.
Type of Environmental Review (Non-Invasive Exploration): None A categorical exclusion is available for all activities covered under a Notice of Intent to Conduct Geophysical Exploration (NOI), subject to extraordinary circumstance review. Where the activity results in an extraordinary circumstance, an EA or EIS is required.
Type of Environmental Review (Invasive Exploration): None Temperature Gradient Holes are permitted under a categorical exclusion and subject to the same conditions as non-invasive exploration as discussed above. Any other exploration drilling activity to confirm the existence of a geothermal resource will likely require an EA.
Type of Environmental Review (Drilling): None Production drilling activities will likely require an EA, but depending on the nature of the specific project, could require an EIS.
Type of Environmental Review (Power Plant Siting): None Most Plans of Utilization (POU)s require an EA or EIS.