Lawsuits fly over carbon pipeline that would run through 18 South Dakota counties
Pending eminent domain battle called 'largest land grab since American Indian wars'
Summit Carbon Solutions has filed a blizzard of lawsuits this month, demanding access to land across eastern South Dakota as it seeks to build a carbon dioxide pipeline.
Asserting eminent domain rights, Summit filed 14 lawsuits against dozens of landowners in counties stretching from Lincoln County in the south to McPherson and Brown counties in the north. The company is demanding access to private properties in order to survey a route for the pipeline.
In court filings, the company says it is using a “sophisticated and proprietary” geographic information system and data sets to route the pipeline.
“Each of these datasets were weighted based on the desire to co-locate with certain features and the risk of crossing, and/or desire to avoid high risk areas while minimizing the overall length of the route,” according to one of the filings.
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On Feb. 7, 2022, Summit filed an application for a siting permit with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. That application is pending.
The project calls for 2,000 miles of pipeline that would be used to capture carbon dioxide from 31 ethanol plants in the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. The carbon dioxide would then be piped to underground storage sites in Oliver and Mercer counties in North Dakota.
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In South Dakota, the company’s pipeline would traverse 469 miles through 18 counties.