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Agricultural News

Cattlemen Cheer New Oklahoma Law Protecting Groundwater Rights in Eminent Domain Actions

Thu, 05 Mar 2020 19:57:02 CST

Cattlemen Cheer New Oklahoma Law Protecting Groundwater Rights in Eminent Domain Actions This morning, Governor Stitt signed into law HB 1048 protecting groundwater rights for Oklahoma landowners. This bill has been a priority for the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association this legislative session. The bill started last year in the House but was held over the summer working on consensus language to move through the Senate.

After the work over the summer, the measure passed overwhelmingly in the Senate as well as in the House for final approval- the Senatre vote 43 to 0 and the 2020 House vote was 91 to 2. Read the language of the measure by clicking here.

"This important bill is aimed at helping landowners know their rights regarding the groundwater in Eminent Domain actions," shared Michael Weeks, OCA President. Weeks added, "Too many times in Eminent Domain actions, the surface right is all that is really in the interest of the taking entity. However, by default, they often acquire the groundwater rights which could have been held by the landowner."

HB 1048 requires the taking entity to communicate in writing to the landowner their intent specific to the groundwater rights. This will allow the landowner to sever the groundwater and keep that right if they so choose.

"Water has become so important. OCA is committed to helping landowners know their rights as far as their groundwater is concerned," continued Weeks. "We plan to build on this important win this summer at OCA's Annual Convention by having a seminar on what landowners can do regarding their groundwater rights."

Taylor Shackelford, one of OCA's lobbyists, shared, "OCA would like to thank Representative Danny Sterling and Senator Julie Daniels for championing this important bill through the legislative process. And thank you to Governor Stitt for his signature today to make this law."



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