(KXNET) — One house bill heard on Wednesday deals with mineral rights and development for our landowners.
House Bill 1510 recognizes that a mineral developer can go on the surface of any land in this state to dig for minerals.
However, the developer must compensate the landowner for the damage done to the land.
The bill would implement compensation to the surface owner for the amount of time he or she can’t use the land while the minerals or being developed.
However, the question remains: how much compensation is the surface owner entitled to?
The current law does not address this in great detail or what happens if the surface owner rejects the mineral developer’s price of compensation.
“The current law on that subject is kind of one-sided, in that, if you do go to court it says if the amount of compensation awarded by the court is greater than that which has been offered by the mineral developer the court will award land owner reasonable compensation for attorney fees and cost. So it doesn’t address if the compensation awarded is less than what was offered by the developer,” said Representative Lawrence Klemin.
The price depends on how long the landowner can’t use the land during development and any permanent damage that was made to the land during development.