North Dakota Geological Survey

 

Regulatory Responsibilities

The North Dakota Industrial Commission, acting through the office of the State Geologist, has regulatory authority over core and drill samples, coal exploration, geothermal resources, paleontological resources, subsurface minerals, and Class III injection wells.
 
 

Core and Drilling Samples

State law requires that cores and samples from all wells and test borings drilled for oil and gas, subsurface minerals, and coal exploration be delivered without charge to the State Geologist. These cores and samples are stored at the Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library where they are used by industry, government and academic researchers.

Contact:   Julie LeFever (701)328-8000
 

Coal Exploration

Drilling for coal exploration or evaluation requires a permit and is regulated under Chapters 38-12.1 and 43-02-01 of the North Dakota Century and Administrative Codes, respectively. A report of findings must be filed with the State Geologist. Collectively, these reports comprise a database useful to private and government coal researchers and provide information necessary for geologic correlations and economic forecasting.

General Rules and Regulations for the Exploration of Coal
Contact:   Ed Murphy (701)328-8000
 

Geothermal Resources

Geothermal (ground source) heating and cooling systems require a permit and are regulated under Chapters 38-19 and 43-02-07 of the North Dakota Century and Administrative Codes, respectively. The permit review process helps to ensure that geothermal systems are properly designed and constructed, and minimizes the risk of groundwater contamination or other environmental problems.

General Rules and Regulations for the Exploration, Development and Production of Geothermal Resources
Contact:   Lorraine Manz (701)328-8000
 

Paleontological Resources

Paleontological resources, on land owned by the State of North Dakota and its political subdivisions, are protected and managed under Chapters 54-17.3 and 43-04 of the North Dakota Century and Administrative Codes, respectively. A permit is required to investigate, excavate, collect, or otherwise record paleontological resources on these lands. The rules also provide a mechanism for monitoring paleontological activities on State lands, thereby providing information for State resources management plans.

Paleontological General Rules and Regulations
Contact:   John Hoganson (701)328-8000
 

Subsurface Minerals

The exploration, development and production of subsurface minerals requires a permit and is regulated under Chapters 38-12 and 43-02-02 of the North Dakota Century and Administrative Codes, respectively. These regulations cover many of the minerals not included in the oil and gas and coal regulatory programs.

General Rules and Regulations for the Exploration, Development and Production of Subsurface Minerals
Contact:   Ed Murphy (701)328-8000
 

Underground Injection Control

The disposal of fluids into Class III wells requires a permit and is regulated under Chapters 61-28 and 43-02-02.1 of the North Dakota Century and Administrative Codes, respectively. Class III wells are defined as those that inject fluids for the extraction of minerals or energy.

General rules and regulations for Underground Injection Control
 

In Situ Leach Uranium Mining

The mining of uranium by the in situ leach (isl) method requires a permit and is regulated under Chapters 38-12 and 43-02-02.2 of the North Dakota Century Code and Administrative Codes, respectively. This type of mining may also require permits from the North Dakota State Department of Health and the North Dakota State Water Commission and will require a license from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

General rules and regulations for In Situ Leach Uranium mining
Contact:   Ed Murphy (701)328-8000
 

Regulatory Advisory Role

In addition to its own direct regulatory authority, the Geological Survey acts as an advisor, providing geological information to other state, local, and federal agencies to assist them in their regulatory duties. The Survey provides advice on waste disposal to the Department of Health and Consolidated Laboratories and on petroleum geology to the Oil and Gas Division. The Survey evaluates oil and gas lease sale lands for the North Dakota Land Department for possible impact on paleontological resources. The Survey is also an advisor to the U.S. Forest Service, Corps of Engineers, and Bureau of Land Management on issues regarding management of paleontological resources on these federally administered lands in North Dakota.

The State Geologist serves as an advisor on a number of boards, including the North Dakota Air Pollution Control Advisory Board, the Water Pollution Control Board, the Governor's Interagency Groundwater Task Force, the Lignite Research Council, the Western Coal Research and Development Council, and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission.