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Environmental Drilling Permits FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Environmental drilling is used to determine the existence of contamination in soil or groundwater. Discrete undisturbed soil and groundwater samples are recovered from the subsurface in order to evaluate, monitor and remediate contamination impacting the environment.
Generally yes, but some exceptions may apply.
The permit application must have the original signature of the C-57 licensed contractor. Permit applications must include access agreements or encroachment permits for all offsite work.
For Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) lead sites, the appropriate fee, a copy of a concurrence letter for the proposed work, a copy of a work plan, a site safety plan, and a plot map must be submitted. See fee schedule for current fees.
For environmental assessments, the appropriate fee, a copy of a work plan, a site safety plan, and a plot map must also be submitted. See fee schedule for current fees.
An Attachment 3 is an exemption from the Sonoma County Well Ordinance for wells proposed within setbacks from a sewage disposal system. If you check "Yes" on the permit application for monitoring wells being constructed within 100 ft. of a septic tank or leach field, 50 ft. of any sanitary sewer line, or 25 ft. of any private sanitary sewer line, then an Attachment 3 form must be submitted with the permit application.
Yes. The form is available here (PDF: 132 Kb). Please note, however, that an original or electronic signature is required on the permit.
It is our goal to issue permits within 2-3 weeks. However, permit issuance may take longer if all the pertinent information is not provided upon the initial submittal.
No, there is not a mechanism to pay for expediting permits.
Call (707) 565-6565 and the clerical staff can check if a permit has been issued.
No. We do not set appointments for grout inspections, however, you are required to notify this office at least 48 hours in advance of the work.
For Regional Board lead sites or environmental assessments, contact Leslye Choate.
Refer to the fee schedule. Please note that the fee for the first well is a higher rate than subsequent wells. This is also the case with borings, geotechnical borings, and well destruction. See also Question #13 below regarding the need for a separate application for each drilling category.
"Step-out" borings may be constructed with verbal or written concurrence from the overseeing agency and this program. A new permit application must be submitted within 7 days of the work, and the additional boring fee will be charged. "Step-out" monitoring wells will require a new permit with the full permit fee paid.
Can I combine different fee categories, such as borings, geotechnical borings, wells, and well destruction on the same Application for Drilling Permit?
No. A separate application and fee are required for each drilling category.
A copy of a current workers compensation certificate endorsed to Sonoma County, and a copy of a current C-57 license must be on file with Environmental Health or be submitted with the permit application.
The permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance. However, prior to the permit's expiration, an extension can be requested.
Yes. A new application and permit alteration fee is required.
If the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the City of Santa Rosa, DTSC or any other regulatory agency does not direct the environmental investigation, the proposed work is classified as an Environmental Assessment.
Normally Permit Sonoma (formerly PRMD) issues these permits. If, however, the borings combine an environmental investigation, or are being proposed in an area near known contamination, Environmental Health will issue those permits.
The required method for destroying a well is over-drilling and tremie grouting. Should there be a health and safety risk to over-drilling, contact the Environmental Drilling staff. Be prepared to provide documentation as to the health and safety risk.
Yes. You must have a valid site address. If no specific site address is available, contact Leslye at Leslye.Choate@sonoma-county.org.
Yes. All hand augured borings and wells require a permit signed by a C-57 licensed driller.
Yes. All soil vapor wells require a permit.
Long term soil vapor wells are 30 days or greater and require a separate permit for destruction.
Short term soil vapor wells (<30 days) do not require a separate destruction permit.
Soil vapor wells constructed with rigid materials can be pressure grouted at destruction.
Soil vapor wells constructed with tubing must have the tubing removed and the hole filled with neat cement.