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Landowner attorney tells South Dakota that Summit's pipeline application should be thrown out

Summit Carbon Solution's $4.5 billion plan is to connect to 32 ethanol plants in five states: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, sending liquid carbon dioxide from the plants to be stored underground in North Dakota. Summit says the pipeline project will help ethanol plants lower their carbon score by capturing greenhouse gas emissions and piping the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.

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PIERRE, S.D. — An attorney representing multiple landowners in the path of a proposed carbon pipeline says the company's South Dakota application for a permit should be thrown out.

The filing with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission by attorney Brian Jorde is in response to a request from Summit Carbon Solutions for more time for its permit to be processed.

Jorde's response, filed May 17, says Summit Carbon Solution "has admitted and affirmed numerous Application deficiencies such that the appropriate course is to dismiss this Application and close this docket. In the alternative, Landowners move for a stay of all current proceedings and request no deadlines be established until a conforming and complete Application is filed ... ."

In a letter on May 9, Summit also set an Oct. 13 deadline for it to submit an updated route. It initially filed for a permit in February but has since made adjustments to its route.

Jorde's filing states: "It is impossible to analyze what threats this proposed hazardous pipeline may pose to the environment, to social, or to economic conditions of persons in the siting area if we do not have a definite route we are analyzing."

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South Dakota law lays out a one-year timeline from application to PUC approval but allows applicants to ask for an extension.

Summit's $4.5 billion plan is to connect to 32 ethanol plants in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, sending liquid carbon dioxide from the plants to be stored underground in North Dakota. The main trunk of the pipeline would run through eastern South Dakota with connections to six ethanol plants.

Summit says it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help ethanol plants remain as viable businesses by lowering their carbon score.

The pipeline concerns some farmers who have worries about damage to farmland and drain tile, the possible use of eminent domain to gain right-of-way for the pipeline, as well as safety.

Jorde, who represents landowners in other states along the route, has asked that his filing be addressed at the June 8 meeting of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

A map of the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project

Reach Jeff Beach at jbeach@agweek.com or call 701-451-5651 (work) or 859-420-1177.
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