Sask. gov’t taking another look at surface rights legislation

Landowners want a guarantee that land will be restored when well sites and pipelines are shut down.

REGINA — The Saskatchewan NDP says farmers need updated legislation to protect them from petroleum development.

Opposition critic Cathy Sproule told the house that proposed legislation on surface rights was pulled from the order paper this week.

She says farmers say the $1,000 cap on damages is way too low and are concerned that there are no rent increases when additional well sites are established.

Sproule also says landowners want a guarantee that their land will be restored once the well sites and pipelines are shut down.

Economy Minister Bill Boyd says the issues surrounding surface rights are complex.

He says after widespread consultation, the government decided to take another look at the proposed legislation.

“You have to balance off all of those interests between a single well, multi-well pads, horizontal versus a vertical well, landowner issues around whether the land is owned by an individual or whether it is government owned land or whether it is rented land,” Boyd said.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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