PRINTER'S NO. 143
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY YAW, ERICKSON, VULAKOVICH AND VOGEL, JANUARY 17, 2013
REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, JANUARY 17, 2013
1Amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the
2Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in particular rights and
3immunities, providing for actions to quiet title involving
5The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
6hereby enacts as follows:
7Section 1. Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
8Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
9§ 8320.1. Actions to quiet title involving subsurface rights.
10(a) Rebuttable presumption.--In an action to quiet title
11involving subsurface rights to real property, failure by any
12person claiming to hold the subsurface rights, other than the
13surface owner of the real property, to exercise the subsurface
14rights for a period in excess of 50 years shall create a
15rebuttable presumption that the subsurface rights have been
16abandoned by such person in favor of the surface owner.
17(b) Nonapplicability.--The rebuttable presumption
18established in this section shall not apply to fee interests,
19including, without limitation, deeds and long-term leases for
1coal and other minerals and oil and gas, including all
2appurtenant rights, which have been reserved or acquired by a
3duly recorded conveyance.
4(c) Definitions.--The following words and phrases when used
5in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this
6subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
7"Exercise of subsurface rights." The term includes, but is
8not limited to, any of the following:
9(1) The production of any coal or other minerals and the
10production of any oil and gas under subsurface rights.
11(2) Operations being conducted under subsurface rights
12for injection, withdrawal, storage or disposal of water, oil,
13gas or other fluid substances.
14(3) A mortgage, assignment, conveyance or order or
15agreement to pool or unitize subsurface rights recorded in
16the recorder's office in the county in which the right or
17interest is located.
18(4) Payment of taxes or fees on subsurface rights by the
19owner or owner's agent.
20(5) A valid permit of any government agency pertaining
21to the use of subsurface rights has been issued.
22(6) A statement describing subsurface rights and
23claiming ownership of the right and the intention to preserve
24subsurface rights is filed with the court and recorded in the
25county where the subsurface rights are located prior to entry
26of a final judgment.
27(7) Use of the surface, the strata between the surface
28and the situs of the mineral and the strata where the mineral
29is situated for, without limitation, exploration, evaluation,
30surveying, digging, extraction, production, draining,
1ventilation, cleaning, storing, blending and transportation
2for and of the mineral.
3"Subsurface rights." Coal or other mineral, oil or gas
4rights or interests, or any combination of those rights or
6Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.