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Aberdeen News Covers Brian Jorde’s Motion to Dismiss Carbon Pipeline Permit Application with the South Dakota Utilities Commissi

motion to dismiss

The Aberdeen News has covered Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde’s efforts to help South Dakota landowners defeat a permit application for a proposed carbon capture pipeline.

As reported in the article, Jorde filed a motion with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on behalf of South Dakota landowners who oppose the Midwest Carbon Express. The multi-billion-dollar pipeline would transport carbon emissions from ethanol plants through multiple states before ending in North Dakota and sequestering the CO2 underground.

Summit Carbon Solutions, the Iowa-based company behind the project, initially applied for a permit in February. Decisions in these matters are typically made within a year, but applicants can request extensions. In May, Summit did just that when it asked the PUC to extend the decision deadline to June 15, 2023. Its request included a timeline that would allow for submission of an updated application, supporting testimony, and a map of the pipeline’s route by October 13, 2022. In addition, Summit also asked for the following deadlines:

  • Deadline for intervenor direct testimony: Jan. 5, 2023.
  • Deadline for staff Direct testimony: Jan. 12, 2023.
  • Deadline for applicant rebuttal: Jan. 26, 2023.
  • Deadline for intervenor/staff rebuttal response: Feb. 9, 2023.
  • Discovery deadline: Feb. 23, 2023.
  • Hearing dates: March 28-April 5, 2023.
  • Post hearing briefs filed: April 27, 2023.
  • Commission Decision: May 16, 2023.
  • Order with conditions: June 15, 2023.

In his motion seeking dismissal of the permit application, Attorney Brian Jorde raised arguments against the proposed timeline. According to his motion, Summit has admitted to numerous application deficiencies, including various changes to the pipeline’s route, and that it failed to notify over 150 landowners that their land is along the route. By law, landowners within a half-mile of proposed areas must be notified within 30 days of the permit application.

Though Summit has said alterations of the pipeline route are not unusual, Jorde is calling for a dismissal of the application due to deviations from protocol, which would require Summit to file a new application. At the very least, Jorde says, the PUB should ensure any alterations to deadlines don’t unfairly impact landowners.

"What the PUC shouldn't allow is this musical chairs process where every day or every week we've got new people that are like, 'Wait now I'm potentially affected here?'”

Read the full article about Brian Jorde’s Motion with the Public Utilities Commission here.