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Memo to Members 500′ Rule


October 18, 2023 - Governor Hochul signed the bill into law that allows for changes to drilling regulations for closed-loop geothermal boreholes deeper than 500 feet which NY-GEO recognizes is a very high priority for our industry. 

Recognizing a number of us would like to commence with the design and install boreholes deeper than 500 feet, we would like to provide some background and guidance going forward.

The 500 feet geothermal drilling law exempts closed-loop geothermal boreholes deeper than 500 feet from the oil and gas regulations they were previously subject to. However, before the Governor signed the bill into law, she reached an agreement with the legislature to give DEC authority to create new, appropriate regulations for closed-loop geothermal boreholes deeper than 500 feet.   NY-GEO has been working with the DEC in establishing these regulations.  

While DEC develops the new regulations, NY-GEO has committed to the Governor’s office and DEC that as an industry association, we will act in good faith and strongly encourage industry members to abide by the following NY-GEO guidance until the rulemaking process is completed:

Until the new regulations for deeper closed-loop geothermal are implemented (likely sometime in late 2024), Geothermal Drillers are asked to voluntarily submit a Geothermal Borehole Information Form (Form) to NY-GEO starting October 20, 2023.

  • Geothermal Drillers will submit this Form to NY-GEO only for closed-loop boreholes deeper than 500 feet.
  • NY-GEO will maintain this information in a database and make the information available to the DEC.
  • This information will help in the development of appropriate regulations for deeper closed-loop geothermal boreholes.
  • This will also lend continuity to the recordkeeping of deeper boreholes prior to new regulations taking effect.
  • Information provided to NY-GEO on these forms will be made available to the public, upon request.

Note - the only geothermal technology addressed in the new law is closed-loop. Open loop boreholes and any other geothermal technology deeper than 500 feet are still subject to the previous regulations.

NY-GEO recognizes that being able to install deeper ground loops will immediately unlock many potential commercial building projects that otherwise do not have the space on their property to do geothermal and create cost savings for some installers doing geo for smaller buildings, including Single Family Homes.  Our goal is to work with the DEC to develop and implement regulations in a timely and efficient manner and make sure our industry members are informed and engaged every step of the way.  NY-GEO respectfully requests that you incorporate the CLOSED-LOOP GEOTHERMAL BOREHOLE COMPLETION REPORT - 500+ Feet in all projects that drill 500’+.   The form is linked above and can be found on the NY-GEO site here

Please get in touch if you have thoughts or questions!

Christine Hoffer
Executive Director

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