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Brian Jorde Comments on Summit Carbon’s Eminent Domain Suits Against SD Landowners

Aerial view of early Fall Farmland in South Dakota

Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde has been quoted by the Dakota Free Press in an article discussing a round of lawsuits filed by Summit Carbon Solutions as part of its efforts to use eminent domain to access private property in South Dakota to construct its controversial pipeline.

As reported by the Dakota Free Press, Jorde and our firm represent farmers, ranchers, and other landowners across the Midwest with property located in the path of a proposed carbon pipeline from Summit Carbon Solutions.

As in other states, affected landowners in South Dakota have opposed construction of the pipeline over concerns about safety, impact to their land, and liability for potential damage to the pipeline. These landowners have also teamed up with Jorde and Domina Law to challenge Summit Carbon’s efforts to use eminent domain – a right typically reserved for the government and public use projects – to gain access to their properties for surveys and pipeline construction.

Citing an article from the Argus Leader, the Dakota Free Press notes that Summit Carbon has initiated over 80 lawsuits against landowners in Beadle, Brown, Codington, Edmunds, Hand, Kingsbury, Lake, McPherson, and Spink counties who refused to sign easement agreements with the company. In the lawsuits, Summit asks the courts to allow the company to exercise eminent domain to access the properties.

As Jorde told the Argus Leader and Dakota Free Press, the 80+ suits may be only the first batch of filings. However, they show that a growing number of landowners are standing up to fight back against a project that produces private profits for entities not based in South Dakota, and a private company they say has no right to use eminent domain.

"It's significant in that it shows how unpopular this project is and how poor this company has handled itself in dealing with people. And it is a significant amount that will, no doubt, be growing, not shrinking,"

You can read the full stories featuring quotes from Brian Jorde on the Argus Leader and Dakota Free Press.