Public Utilities Commissioner Chris Nelson visits with KWAT News about pipeline bill  (Audio)

March 12, 2024
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Senate Bill 201 passed by the Legislature last week and signed into law by Governor Noem is a bit complicated, but will give the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) some leeway in working with counties on a potential permit for a proposed carbon sequestration pipeline in South Dakota.

Commissioner Chris Nelson says the language in SB 201 gives the PUC the ability to supersede county regulations in regard to the permit application. That’s a big change from what had been on the books…

Nelson is not willing to predict how this change will impact the chances the PUC grants a permit for a CO2 pipeline….

Nelson says the PUC did NOT take a position on SB 201 during its path through the Legislature, and that was intentional…

Nelson says it’s anyone’s guess when Summit Carbon Solutions comes before the PUC to make another attempt to get their permit approved…..

Summit’s first application was denied by the PUC, in part because pipeline route would have violated setback distances set by ordinance in several local counties.