Concern Erupts Over Control of Land Below The Surface

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A bill passed unanimously in the North Dakota Senate is being questioned by a major property rights group in the state.

Attorneys for Northwest Landowners Association say SB-2344 would strip away ownership rights from surface landowners, allowing companies to inject anything from saltwater to natural gas into voids far below ground without compensating the landowner.

The chairman of the group says the ramifications of the bill were not widely known when the Senate voted last month.
Troy Coons says it takes away a landowner’s control of what’s knows as the pore space – that’s P-O-R-E – space, underground.

(Troy Coons, Northwest Landowners Association Chairman) “It would take away the right of the property owner to determine who could access the property and use the pore space. And it would inhibit us from being able to charge for that use of the pore space.”

The hearing will be Friday at 8:30 at the State Capitol.
Coons is hopeful that many surface landowners will attend the session to show support for derailing the bill.

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