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Brian Jorde Leads Landowners to Another Victory Against Hazardous CO2 Pipeline Proposals

Aerial view of early Fall Farmland in South Dakota

On Monday, September 11, Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde secured another victory in the ongoing battle over controversial carbon capture pipelines when the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to turn down Summit Carbon Solution’s application to construct part of its multi-billion CO2 pipeline in the state.

As reported by the Associated Press, the South Dakota PUC declined Summit’s permit application to construct the 469-mile portion of its pipeline that falls within South Dakota boundaries. In total, Summit’s pipeline, which would transport emissions from dozens of ethanol plants to a permanent underground storage site in North Dakota, would span more than 2,000 miles across five different states.

In its motion to deny, which came at the beginning of what was expected to be a multi-week evidentiary hearing and thus adjourned the hearing, the South Dakota PUC stated that Summit’s proposed route would violate county setback distance ordinances. Speaking with AP News, Jorde noted that Summit’s proposed route in South Dakota presented an “impossibility” to the panel, with a route that “cannot be constructed.”

Jorde, Domina Law Continue Fight for Midwest Landowners After Series of Victories

The South Dakota panel’s latest vote is just one of several blows recently dealt to Summit Carbon Solutions and other companies with similar proposals to construct carbon pipelines.

One victory secured just days before, for example, came when the South Dakota PUC voted unanimously to deny an application from Navigator CO2 Ventures to build its Heartland Greenway pipeline, which would span 1,300 miles across Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In that motion to deny, the panel cited numerous reasons for the veto, including Navigator’s lack of promptness, failures to adequately notify landowners or routes and meetings, and various health and safety concerns. As Attorney Brian Jorde told AP News, the denial raised hope that Navigator may now drop the South Dakota leg of its project given that most of the plants it would serve are in other states. A few days after Jorde voiced that hope, Navigator released a statement announcing that it would postpone some “right of way work in certain areas like South Dakota and Iowa.”

Another landowner victory came last month when the North Dakota Public Service Commission voted to deny a siting permit for the 320-mile portion of Summit Carbon Solutions’ pipeline that falls within the state. In that motion, which Summit has appealed, regulators cited Summit’s failure to address landowner concerns, impacts on wildlife, and potential geological instability as reasons for the denial.

Brian Jorde and Domina Law Group continue to fight on behalf of landowners across the Midwest who own property along proposed carbon pipeline routes. In addition to raising challenges regarding health and safety concerns and impacts to farmland, we’ve been vocal in opposing these companies’ attempts to use eminent domain – a right typically reserved for the government and public use projects – to access private property and construct their pipelines. You can learn more about our carbon pipeline litigation work and find the latest updates on our blog.

You can view the AP’s coverage of the latest South Dakota PUC vote here.

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