SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — So far, it’s been mostly negative comments on one of the proposed carbon dioxide pipelines that have been shared with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
S.D. PUC has received at least 30 public comments on the Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed CO2 pipeline that would travel through South Dakota from Iowa and other states to a C02 burial site in North Dakota.
About 469 miles of the pipeline would travel through South Dakota. It would also travel through parts of Minnesota, and most of Iowa. SCS would capture CO2 at cooperating ethanol plants, compress it and transport it through a pipeline.
The comments on the proposed project are posted on the PUC website.
Comments outline various concerns such as the safety of the material being transported as well as the possibility that a large corporation could take advantage of landowners. Some of those who commented were also concerned that SCS would use eminent domain to take the needed land for the route if a landowner did not sign an easement.
Although most public comments aren’t favorable for the SCS project, not everyone is against it.
Glacial Lakes Energy of Watertown has agreed to supply CO2 to the project for 12 years, said company chief executive officer Jim Seurer.
Glacial Lakes Energy has four sites. The energy company has about 4,000 shareholders, Seurer said.
The project will reduce the carbon index (CI) score for Glacial Lakes which means the product will be more attractive to low carbon states such as California.
“Our score is in the lower 70s. This will drop us down somewhere in the 40s,” Seurer said. “That will keep us competitive.”
The CI is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a building’s energy system. The lower the score the better.
The company had studied making its own CO2 investment to reduce its score and that would have cost millions of dollars, Seurer said. Instead, SCS will be making the capital investment and Glacial Lakes will gain from that, Seurer said.
Several public comments include concerns about the risks with a CO2 pipeline leaking or rupturing and spreading a harmful, hazardous material.
Seurer said he’s not a scientist or hazardous material expert but he does know that the SCS project will take CO2 that ethanol plants are already releasing into the air.
“CO2 is all around us,” Seurer said.
The project will take C02 that ethanol plants are already releasing into the air, Seurer said. If an individual stands directly over where the ethanol plant is being released they may get dizzy, he said. It would likely be similar to standing directly by any leak in a CO2 pipeline, Seurer said.
On Feb. 23, 2020, a pipeline carrying CO2 and sulfur ruptured in Yazoo County which county emergency management said sent at least 46 people to the hospital. Emergency management also said heavy rain appeared to cause the ground to cave in which damaged the pipeline.
The SCS CO2 pipeline will not contain sulfur, SCS officials said.