BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow a well driller who hits geothermal water to use that water for uses other than its heat value in some cases.

The House Resources and Conservation Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to OK the legislation that will next come back to the committee as a bill where its merits can be debated.

Republican Vice Chairman Terry Gestrin of Donnelly told the committee that if a well driller hits water higher than 85 degrees at the bottom, then the well falls into a geothermal category and must be sealed if not used for its heat.

The legislation would allow the director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources to allow an exemption in some instances.

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