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Brian Jorde Comments on Mississippi Pipeline Leak Report on Dakota News Now

Spilled oil around the oil pipeline

Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde was recently interviewed by Dakota News Now for an article about how a government report on a 2020 CO2 pipeline leak in Mississippi is raising concerns about a proposed carbon pipeline project that would travel through South Dakota.

As reported by Dakota News Now, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released a report in May about the implementation of new measures to strengthen oversight of carbon dioxide pipelines in the U.S.

The PHMSA report is the product of an investigation into a 2020 pipeline failure in Saltaria, Mississippi that resulted in evacuations and caused nearly 50 people to seek medical attention. It details several probable violations for the failure – including a lack of emergency response guidelines, failure to conduct routine inspections, and failure to evaluate how geohazards could threaten the pipeline – and enforcement actions being taken against the pipeline company. The report also announces new rulemaking to update CO2 pipeline standards, particularly in relation to emergency preparedness.

Attorney Brian Jorde, who with Domina Law Group represents over 500 landowners in states where Summit Carbon Solutions plans to construct its new pipeline, the Midwest Carbon Express, discussed how the PHMSA report is raising concerns among landowners who are currently waiting for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to decide a permit application from Summit to build the state’s first CO2 pipeline. As Jorde notes, previous catastrophes illustrate how the country has little experience with carbon pipelines:

“It’s such a new technology and concept and never been done at the scale currently contemplated across South Dakota and the Midwest, and laws, rules, regulations are simply way behind.”

Jorde goes on to discuss how landowners are concerned about health risks associated with having a pipeline run through their land, the potential impact to their farmland and livestock, and the fact that companies like Summit are asking Utilities Commissions to use eminent domain – a right typically reserved for the government – to access and build on privately owned land.

“I respect their right to make hundreds of millions of dollars and make their owners richer than they already are. But doing this on the backs of hardworking South Dakotans and elsewhere there requires a high level of scrutiny.”

You can read the full article featuring quotes from Brian Jorde here.