Well Management
Request for Comments for Bored Geothermal Heat Exchangers

Minnesota Department of Health
Environmental Health Division

REQUEST FOR COMMENTS

Possible Amendment to Rules Governing Wells and Borings, Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4725, Concerning Bored Geothermal Heat Exchangers; Revisor’s ID Number R-04192

Subject of Rules. The Minnesota Department of Health requests comments on its possible amendment to rules governing wells and borings, Minnesota Rules, chapter 4725, regarding bored geothermal heat exchangers. The department is considering rule amendments to reflect amendments to Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103I by Minnesota Session Law, chapter 108, article 12, section 11. The department is requesting your comments on possible amendments to rules including: licensing of persons who construct, repair or seal bored geothermal heat exchangers; permitting of bored geothermal heat exchangers; construction, use and sealing of bored geothermal heat exchangers; and other department-specific issues.

Persons Affected. The amendments to the rules would likely affect persons who construct, repair, or seal bored geothermal heat exchangers and persons who own bored geothermal heat exchangers. The amendments may indirectly affect persons who use groundwater.

Statutory Authority. Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.101, subd. 1, gives the Commissioner of Health, the “powers reasonable and necessary to effectively exercise the authority granted in this chapter.” Minnesota Statutes, section103I.101, subdivision 5, specifically directs the Commissioner to adopt rules governing licensing, design and construction standards, reporting, and a variety of other issues related to wells and borings. A bored geothermal heat exchanger is a type of boring.

Public Comment. Interested persons or groups may submit comments or information on these possible rules in writing until further notice is published in the State Register that the department intends to adopt or to withdraw the rules. The department has discussed the rulemaking with the Advisory Council on Wells and Borings, established under Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.105, and the council will have the opportunity to comment on the rules.

The department will not publish a notice of intent to adopt the rules until more than 60 days have elapsed from the date of this request for comments. The department plans to appoint an advisory committee, comprised of members who work with bored geothermal heat exchangers, to review the issues for rule development and comment on the possible rules.

Rules Draft. The department is working on a draft of possible rule amendments and anticipates that the draft of the amendments will be available following the period for Request for Comments but before the publication of the Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules. Persons interested in receiving a copy of the draft rule amendments when they become available should contact Michael Convery as directed below. Information on this rulemaking, including schedule, rulemaking documents, and rule implementation will be available on the MDH Well Management Section website at:  www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells.

Agency Contact Person. Written comments, questions, requests to receive a draft of the rules when it has been prepared, and requests for more information on these possible rules should be directed to:

Michael P. Convery, P.G.
Well Management Section
Environmental Health Division
Minnesota Department of Health
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, Minnesota  55164-0975
Email:  michael.convery@state.mn.us
Phone:  651-201-4586
Fax:  651-201-4599

Alternative Format. Upon request, this information can be made available in an alternative format, such as large print, braille, or audio. To make such a request, please contact the agency contact person at the address or telephone number listed above.

NOTE:  Comments received in response to this notice will not necessarily be included in the formal rulemaking record submitted to the administrative law judge if and when a proceeding to adopt rules is started. The agency is required to submit to the judge only those written comments received in response to the rules after they are proposed. If you submitted comments during the development of the rules and you want to ensure that the Administrative Law Judge reviews the comments, you should resubmit the comments after the rules are formally proposed.

Dated:  July 16, 2013

Linda B. Bruemmer, Director
Environmental Health Division
Minnesota Department of Health

Updated Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 09:10AM