Landowners look to ‘level the playing field’ in eminent domain struggle against pipelines
Bill limits land seizure powers to pipelines transporting commodities
PIERRE — A pair of pipeline companies planning projects in South Dakota would have to prove that they are transporting a commodity in order to be granted eminent domain powers, under legislation that inched forward Monday.
Navigator CO2 Ventures and Summit Carbon Solutions intend to pump carbon dioxide from regional ethanol plants to underground storage locations using pipelines stretching across South Dakota. But landowners along the proposed routes who say the companies shouldn’t be entitled to compulsory land acquisition powers typically reserved for the building of utilities are finding sympathy in the Legislature.
“I think it’s OK if this company goes out and continues to voluntarily negotiate with landowners,” House Majority Leader Will Mortenson said during a four hour proceeding where a series of eminent domain reform bills were consider in the House State Affairs Committee. “But eminent domain is no small thing.”
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