SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota House of Representatives will take up a bill that deals with final offers presented by pipeline companies.
House Bill 1230 includes language that requires a final offer to be filed in court before a condemnation trial starts. It was approved by the House State Affairs Committee on Monday.
Lawyer Brett Koenecke, who spoke on behalf of Summit Carbon Solutions and several utility companies, said the final offer timeline requirement would hamper the negotiations process. Often negotiations happen right up until the court trial date, he said.
Lawyer Chris Healy, a supporter of HB1230, said negotiations could continue. A final offer does not technically mean there is only one final offer, Healy said.
If a jury determines the value of the property is 20% more than the final offer, the landowner can be reimbursed for attorney fees and other court costs.
HB1230 moves to the House.
The committee killed a bill that Koenecke said would kill proposed CO2 projects.
Summit and Navigator have proposed running sections of their CO2 pipelines through South Dakota. Summit would have about 478 miles in the state and Navigator would have fewer miles.
The CO2 would be obtained at participating ethanol plants. Summit would transport captured CO2 to an underground site in North Dakota. Navigator would transport CO2 to an underground site in Illinois. During testimony Monday, a Navigator representative said that CO2 is already being used for soft drinks, the ag industry and other areas. The company’s pipeline would allow CO2 to be accessed for other uses, the representative said.
HB1224 would have required a pipeline to obtain written voluntary agreements for 90% of the landowners on the route before it filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission.
Lawyer Brian Jorde, a supporter of HB1224, said it would “streamline the process” for negotiations.
Summit has said it has reached about 60% in voluntary easements, so they should be able get to 90% on a voluntary level, Jorde said.
Steve Willard, who is lobbyist for utilities and similar entities, said the 90% requirement is an overreach. Imagine of a legislator needed 90% approval before introducing a bill, he said.
Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, the vice president for government and public affairs for Navigator said, the company cannot talk to landowners in Iowa or Illinois until they file applications in those states.
The committee approved sending HB1224 to the 41st day which in effect, kills the bill.
A bill to give landowners more say in keeping surveyors off their property was also killed. House Bill 1188 would effectively require a company to have an approved permit before doing a survey.
Landowner Ed Fischbach said landowners aren’t able to keep surveyors off their property. He supported HB1188. A permit is needed, he said.
“You can’t get a PUC permit without a survey,” Koenecke said.
Willard said HB1188 would created unintended consequences because it would include utilities surveys and similar.
In a separate action, the committee approved sending a common carrier-eminent domain related bill (HB1133) to the House.