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AG Week Profiles Domina Law’s Work for Landowners Facing Pipeline Surveyor Access Suits


AG Week has published an article detailing the evolving legal battle being between Summit Carbon Solutions and North and South Dakota landowners represented by Domina Law Group and Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde.

As reported by AG Week, North and South Dakota landowners represented by our team have been hit with lawsuits filed by Summit Carbon Solutions, the company behind the controversial Midwest Carbon Express pipeline. The suits claim that landowners violated state laws when refusing to let company representatives on their property to conduct surveys.

The surveyor access lawsuits are the latest development in a long-standing battle over Summit’s Midwest Carbon Express, a proposed 2,000 mile pipeline that would capture emissions from over 30 ethanol plants and transport it in the form of liquified CO2 to areas of Nebraska where it can be sequestered underground.

In addition to environmental and safety concerns, Summit has faced major pushback from landowners and legal advocates who oppose its request to use eminent domain – a right typically reserved for the government and public-use projects – to obtain easements and construct its pipeline on private land.

As Attorney Brian Jorde told AG Week, much of the battle’s focus is on challenging the constitutionality of allowing private companies to abuse eminent domain as a means of making immense profits and capitalizing on federal tax credits, but there is still reason to fight Summit’s latest suits because “even the survey would be considered a taking” of private property in violation of landowners’ constitutional rights.

Jorde also commented on how Summit’s latest moves could work against the company by galvanizing landowners to fight back. "The more people they sue the better because it gets people fired up.”

A hearing regarding the legal cases over surveying easements, which will be consolidated for four of the eight counties in South Dakota – Edmunds, Brown, McPherson, and Spink, is expected to be set in Aberdeen later this month. A hearing in Lake County at Madison, SD has been set for October 31.

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