Minnehaha County Commission reviews CO2 pipeline setbacks

Minnehaha County Commission reviews CO2 pipeline setbacks
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:50 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Discussions about CO2 pipeline setbacks from dwellings, schools and cities continue.

A month ago, Minnehaha County Commissioner Joe Kippley was looking just under 1,000 feet.

“Minnehaha County is 750. I think our friends in Lincoln County are quite a bit higher. I think our friends in Brown County might have been 1,000 or 1,500,” Kippley said.

Kippley plans to submit even shorter setbacks at Tuesday morning’s county commission meeting from 750 feet from dwellings to 330. Kippley believes this will align with federal numbers.

But Government regulators are reviewing their own rules holding CO2 public meetings next week in Des Moines, Iowa.

“It’d be nice if we could unite and pick a number that was a little bit what had some commonality to it,” said Kippley. “But each county is different in South Dakota, and we’re a more urban county. We have more things to route around.”

While navigating a CO2 pipeline through Minnehaha County could be no easy task, an emergency responder on the scene of one of the worst CO2 pipeline ruptures in Mississippi testified earlier this month in North Dakota about the risk to a town of fewer than 50 people, rendering some unconscious and foaming at the mouth.

“I couldn’t imagine this type of severity of an incident happening somewhere closely populated in most of the community went to the hospital,” said Jerry Briggs, first responder.

Briggs knows the after-effects of a CO2 pipeline rupture.

“Probably for at least 1000 feet that I was walking in, it was frozen. The trees were frozen. There was the reason the road was closed as long as it was because it was frozen mud all over the road where the pipeline actually exploded,” Briggs said.

The Minnehaha County Commission meeting is Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Building on N. Dakota Ave.

Jesse Harris, spokesperson for Summit Carbon Solutions, indicates that over 2,800 voluntary easements have been signed with landowners across the midwest, and also stated, “The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has extensive regulations governing the 3.3 million miles of pipelines in the United States that ensure these systems operate in a way that is safe for landowners and communities.”