Model Surface Use and Mineral Development Accommodation Act Law and Legal Definition

In 1990, the Uniform Law Commissioners promulgated the Model Surface Use and Mineral Development Accommodation Act (MSUMDAA). This act governs compensation to surface owners of real property for changes resulting from mineral developments by holders of mineral interests. The holders of the surface interests and the mineral interests have the power to demand agreement and accommodation over the development of mineral interests. The mineral estate remains, as it is under the common law, the dominant estate. However, the owner of the mineral interest can avoid liability to the surface owner only by giving notice of proposed mineral development together with a plan to accommodate existing surface uses or improvements. The surface owner may object and subject the proposed development and the plan to a judicial proceeding. In the proceeding, if the court finds that mineral development is economically, technologically, and economically practicable, and that it cannot be conducted without injury to the surface use or improvement, or that the surface use or improvement interferes with sound practices of mineral development, then the mineral developer can proceed without any accommodation and without liability to the surface owner. MSUMDAA also determines the damages in the event there is liability for injury to the surface interests.