Request for Comments for Bored Geothermal Heat Exchangers - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Request for Comments for Bored Geothermal Heat Exchangers
Well Management Program

Minnesota Department of Health
Environmental Health Division


Proposed 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 proposed amendments to rules governing wells and borings, specifically bored geothermal heat exchangers. The department originally began rulemaking for these rule parts in 2013 and recently resumed rulemaking after a hiatus. The original request for comments for the proposed rule amendment was dated August 5, 2013. Given that the rules were not implemented, and the length of time that has passed since the original request for comments, the department is again requesting comments on the proposed Bored Geothermal Heat Exchangers (BGHE) rules. The department is considering rule amendments to reflect changes to Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 103I by Minnesota Session Law, Chapter 108, Article 12, Section 11, adopted in 2013.

The department is requesting your comments on possible amendments to rules including:

  • licensing persons who construct, repair or seal bored geothermal heat exchangers,
  • requiring permits for construction and sealing for bored geothermal heat exchangers,
  • bored geothermal heat exchanger construction, location and sealing requirements, and
  • other department-specific issues.

Persons Affected. The proposed rule amendments will affect persons who construct, repair, or seal bored geothermal heat exchangers and persons who own bored geothermal heat exchangers.

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, section 103I.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 proposed 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 will not publish a notice of intent to adopt the rules until 60 days have elapsed from the date of this request for comments.

The department appointed an eight-member advisory committee. The advisory committee was provided the opportunities to comment on the proposed rule amendments in September 2013, July 2014, and July 1, 2016.

The department discussed the proposed rule amendments with the department’s 18 member Advisory Council on Wells and Borings, established under Minnesota Statutes, section 103I.105. The Advisory Council on Wells and Borings was given opportunities to comment on the proposed rules in June 2013, March and June 2014 and in December 2016.

The department does not anticipate that local governments will need to adopt or amend ordinances or other regulations to implement the proposed rules. The department requests local governments to provide the depart ment with relevant information about their ordinances or other regulations if the proposed rules will affect them.

The department requests cities or businesses, as specified under Minnesota Statutes, section 14.127, subdivision 1, to provide the department with information supporting the co st of complying with the proposed rules. This is only necessary if the cost will exceed $25,000 in the first year afte r the proposed rule amendments take ef fect. Cities or businesses should consider any cumulative effects of the proposed rules with other federal and state regula tions and provide that information to the department, too.

Rules Drafts. A copy of the proposed rule amendments can be reviewed at: Proposed Revisions to Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4725 (PDF)*. The department’s proposed changes (or new language) are underscored. Existing language the department proposes to remove is stricken with a strike-out. The proposed rule amendments may be modified up to the time the department publishes the Notice of Intent to Adopt Rules (Notice of Intent).

Persons interested in receiving a hard copy of the draft rule amendments can contact Nancy La Plante using the contact information provided.

*This is a draft document. it has not been edited or remediated for accessibility. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Agency Contact Person. Please direct any written comments, questions, requests to receive a draft of the rules, and requests for more information on the proposed rule amendments to:

Nancy La Plante
Well Management Section
Environmental Health Division
Minnesota Department of Health
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975
Phone: 651-201-3651
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 using the contact information provided.

NOTE: Comments received in response to this Request for Comments will not necessarily be included in the formal rulemaking record submitted to the Administrative Law Judge after the Notice of Intent comment period has ended. The department is required to submit to the judge only those written comments received in response to the rules provided with the Notice of Intent. If you submit comments during this Request for Comment period and you want to ensure that the Administrative Law Judge reviews your comments, you will need to resubmit your comments during the Notice of Intent comment period.

Dated: 7/7/17

Thomas P. Hogan, Director
Environmental Health Division
Minnesota Department of Health

Updated Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 01:37PM