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As the representative of the federal government, swisstopo concluded contracts with the project partners and with the Canton of Jura, providing a legal basis for the activities.

The Mont Terri Project contracts are divided into three parts: See also Organisation

regulates issues between the Swiss Confederation, represented by the Federal Office for Water and Geology (or by swisstopo after 2006*), and the Mont Terri project partners. In 2001 the original 10 participating partners signed this contract. Partners who have subsequently joined the project have also signed the Agreement. The 2001 Agreement is split into 20 articles listing the rules pertaining to the Mont Terri Project and, in particular, spelling out the rights and obligations of the project partners, the project management tasks, and the funding for the experiments.

*) In 2001 the Federal Office for Water and Geology and 10 project partners signed the 2001 Agreement. At the end of 2005, the Federal Office for Water and Geology was disbanded and the Swiss Geological Survey of swisstopo – the Federal Office of Topography – became involved. On 1 January 2006 swisstopo took over the Mont Terri Project in its entirety, along with the 2001 Agreement.

regulates interests shared between the Swiss Confederation, represented by swisstopo, and the Canton of Jura. swisstopo appears in this contract as operator of the rock laboratory, and the Canton of Jura, represented by the Department of the Environment and Equipment, appears as the owner of the Opalinus Clay, which is the prime target of investigation at the Mont Terri rock laboratory. This contract is mainly concerned with the safe operation of the rock laboratory and the supervision of the project by the Canton. To ensure this intention, the Monitoring Committee was created and charged with checking the research approval requests submitted annually by swisstopo, and forwarding these recommendations to the Jura government for approval.

regulates matters between the rock laboratory operator, swisstopo, and the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), owner of the access routes to the laboratory. Since implementation of the financial compensation measures in 2008, the Swiss Confederation has been the owner of the national motorway tunnel network and operates the safety galleries, access, and safety tunnels of the Mont Terri motorway tunnel. Safety matters relative to motorway operations and the use of access routes to the rock laboratory form the central elements of this contract.