Seismic Exploration Compensation

Res #: 6-06A
Number: 6
Year: 2006
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations

Resolution No. 6-06A

WHEREAS, seismic exploration is a common occurrence in rural municipalities; and

WHEREAS, seismic exploration may be undertaken on public rights-of-way without compensation to anyone, unless for damage attributable to the seismic operation; and

WHEREAS, seismic exploration on public rights-of-way expedites projects, as no visits to landowners, negotiations, consents or compensation for access are necessary; and

WHEREAS, benefits of undertaking seismic work on public rather than private land, are substantial for seismic operators; and

WHEREAS, municipalities incur costs to provide inspections and generally monitor seismic exploration on public-rights-of-way;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the province be urged to enact legislation enabling municipalities to be compensated for seismic exploration on public rights-of-way.

Response from Honourable Harry Van Mulligen, Minister of Government Relations: 

The authority for conducting seismic exploration is provided for in The Mineral Resources Act, 1985 and in the corresponding regulations to that Act. Saskatchewan Industry and Resources (SIR) is responsible for administering and overseeing the legislation and regulations.

Government will continue to work with seismic companies and Rural Municipalities (RM) to clarify the provincial objectives and work to ensure that municipal bylaws and provincial regulations provide a balanced approach to the competing interests. Currently, the regulations do provide for compensation to be paid to a land owner or the municipality if any damage occurs during seismic testing.

SIR has suggested that RMs provide details to that department to outline the costs incurred for providing inspections and monitoring the programs related to seismic exploration. This would give SIR a better understanding of the financial impact seismic exploration has on RMs.

The Department of Government Relations, if requested, would be willing to participate in any discussions that take place on seismic exploration.