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Review of the geothermal resources and earthquake prevention procedure in the United States

  • Public Land Law Review
  • Abbr : KPLLR
  • 2021, 94(), pp.115-140
  • Publisher : Korean Public Land Law Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : April 30, 2021
  • Accepted : May 21, 2021
  • Published : May 25, 2021

Kim, Jae Sun 1

1부산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In 2010, “Enhanced Geothermal System Project for MW Power Generation”, one of the project funded by the Korean Government, geothermal project in pohang, has been introduced and performed under the “Framework Act on Science and Technology”, “Enforcement Decree of the Industrial Technology Innovation Promotion Act”, and “Operation Guidelines for projects for innovation of industrial technology”. After reviewing technologic aspect including geological, geographic, social and location conditions, pohang area has been selected as the main area to conduct geothermal project. After the earthquake of about 5.4 degree in Pohang occurred in 2017, the Korean Government Commission has determined that natural earthquake was “triggered by an artificial cause”. This paper focus on the United States cases, which include pre-evaluation and hearing in the process of site selection to geothermal resources development even though there is no clear relationship between the geothermal resource development and the earthquake. Geothermal resource refers to all resources(steam, gas, energy, by-products etc.), and the applicable regulations are not clearly defined because it was combined resources including liquid, gas and solid. In 1977, the Supreme Court held that the geothermal resources can be valuable under the Federal Mining Statutes. The geothermal legislations follows as The Federal Geothermal Steam Act, Geothermal Resources Act of California and New Mexico. Moreover, bidding system was introduced in 2005, specific land leasing agreement process was articulated. Especially the California Geothermal Resources Act specified “land excavation permit, drilling permit, penetration permit, geothermal energy sales permit etc.”, and protocol for addressing induced seismicity associated with enhanced geothermal system specified 7 stage review process. In Korea, legislations recognizing the unique legal nature of the geothermal resources, securing the safety, and acknowledging reasonable economic utilization value of the resources would be needed. Moreover, specific procedural rules including leasing agreement, geothermal resource development permit (each stage’s permit) needs to be considered.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.