PUC holds CO2 pipeline meetings this week in five South Dakota cities

PUC holds CO2 pipeline meetings this week in five South Dakota cities
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 9:03 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has reviewed applications for many entities in the past, such as energy, telecommunications, and grain warehouse companies in South Dakota. A new type of application was recently submitted.

Several for-profit companies are eyeing South Dakota for their future CO2 Pipelines. The first application was just received by the PUC.

This week you can attend meetings to find out more information and officially voice your opinion.

South Dakotans have a lot to consider if their land is proposed to be on the Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline route. Chris Hill hopes landowners will give them a fair shot.

“We want to be as transparent, honest, and respectful as we can be,” said Hill.

He explains the CO2 capture process.

“We’re looking at capturing the co2 from those ethanol plants, specifically the fermentation process,” said Hill.

The plan is for the liquified CO2 to travel less than 500 miles in South Dakota as a part of a five-state, 2000 mile project.

“We share that route with agencies with communities, and we start getting input into our process and we optimize the route based on the input that those stakeholders provide to us,” said Hill.

Concerned landowners are joining together.

“Nobody is saying I hate ethanol. These are the people who grow the corn,” said Chase Jensen, of Dakota Rural Action.

Jensen says of the approximate 900 landowners potentially affected by the pipeline, 150 were not properly notified.

“With the law, they’re supposed to be a 30 day notice people getting certified letters before these public meetings. But a lot of people didn’t get them,” said Jensen.

It can be difficult to know who is even on the proposed route.

“Right now they don’t have an established route,” said Jensen.

PUC Chairman Chris Nelson says their information meeting schedule will not be changing, despite the landowners who did not receive the required notification of meetings.

“The meeting dates must fit within a statutory window so the PUC does not have the ability to push back the dates for this application,” said Nelson.

The PUC has a year to decide on the future of the pipeline. Hill continues to contact those involved.

“So we’re getting out there to identify if there are any archaeological sites, any sites that could be meaningful to tribes that have ancestral rites,” said Hill.

The Omaha tribe has heard from Summit about ancestral land on the route.

Residents and members of another organization, the Omaha Tribal Historical Research Project have concerns.

“If we keep doing this, the future water is gonna be so contaminated that you’re not going to be able to do anything with it,” says researcher Charles Baxter Jr. “Water is sacred to the Indian people. You got to figure out something else.”

Hill says he hopes to have conversations with landowners without certain topics coming forward at this stage of the process.

“As far as we’re concerned, eminent domain and condemnation shouldn’t be discussed at this phase in a project because it can intimidate landowners. And it can actually stop a constructive dialogue,” said Hill.

Those wanting an attorney to be a part of that dialogue have joined together according to Jensen.

Brian Jorde will show up and represent that group, in Pierre and before the PUC during the hearings.

To hear how the PUC addressed the issue of the meeting notices that were not received, you can listen to the PUC meeting, starting at 1:53:30.

Public input meetings for docket HP22-001 - In the Matter of the Application by SCS Carbon Transport LLC for a Permit to Construct a Carbon Dioxide Transmission Pipeline will be held:

March 22, 5:30 PM Sully Buttes High School in Onida

March 23, 5:30 PM Ramkota Conf. Center Sioux Falls

March 24, 12:00 PM De Smet Event Center

March 24, 5:30 PM Redfield School

March 25, 12:00 PM Ramkota Hotel Aberdeen

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