Commission staff files motion to deny Summit’s carbon pipeline permit

September 11, 2023

Joshua Haiar

PIERRE, S.D.–The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission’s staff has filed a motion to deny Summit Carbon Solutions’ application to construct a carbon dioxide pipeline, citing non-compliance with ordinances in Brown, McPherson, Minnehaha and Spink counties.

South Dakota Searchlight reports the news comes after Summit withdrew its request to have the commission overrule county ordinances. Another company trying to build a carbon pipeline – Navigator CO2 – failed earlier this week to convince the commission to preempt county ordinances that impose minimum distances between pipelines, homes and other places. The commission also denied Navigator’s permit application.

The PUC staff argues in its new motion that if the county ordinances are allowed to stay in effect, Summit’s proposed route would inherently violate county setback requirements. In other words, Summit would be asking the commission to approve a project that is not in compliance with county laws.

According to the motion signed by Staff Attorney Kristen Edwards, despite Summit’s claims that it would comply with local regulations, evidence has yet to be presented that it has secured necessary waivers or county permits.

The motion will be heard by the three elected public utilities commissioners on Monday at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center in Fort Pierre, at the beginning of what is intended to be a three-week hearing on Summit’s application.