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Environmental Claims From Landowners

Gabriel R. Macchiavello, International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development and Investment (2009)

The Mining and oil and gas industries usually create conflict between operators and landowners, as consequence of the impact produced on the land and other impacts related to the development of those activities.

Those conflicts are usual since ownership over land is different form ownership over subsurface minerals.

In order to provide solutions to those conflicts, there are many ways in which the law approaches the different situations. In Argentina, mining and oil and gas industries are protected by public use privilege, by which all surface activities are subordinated to the needs of the mining and hydrocarbon industry, prior payment of compensation. Compensation encompasses easement and right of way in favor of miners and oil and gas producers.

The duty to pay compensation is set forth in the Mining Code (Section 146) and in the Federal Hydrocarbon Act (Section 100) intended to compensate the landowner for damages or impairment generated during the development of the activities, such as use of water, occupation of land to build up facilities, among other. Payment of compensation does not imply the occurrence of an unlawful act or behavior. On the contrary, the damages compensated are from the regular and lawful activities for which the government grants concessions.

In the past, surface owners sought damage compensation as part of their p