PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — There’s possibly more trouble afoot over a proposal to construct a pipeline that would collect and carry carbon dioxide out of South Dakota.
Brett Koenecke, a Pierre attorney for Iowa-based SCS Carbon Transport, told the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday that a recent mailing to landowners who live or have property within a half-mile of the possible route missed more than 150 of them.
Many are in McPherson County, where a pipeline moratorium was adopted in January.
The company’s mailing notified about 2,500 landowners that the pipeline might cross their properties and that the state commission had set a series of meetings to receive public input.
But the mailing somehow didn’t notify owners of more than 500 parcels.
The matter was added as a discussion item to the commission’s Tuesday agenda.
Commissioner Gary Hanson told Koenecke he was concerned that the situation “could give rise” to landowners later challenging the legality of the process because state law wasn’t followed.
Koenecke disagreed. He said a second round of letters went out to the missed landowners. “It is my contention it is not fatal to the process,” Koenecke said.
The commission has set five meetings along the proposed route to get public input. They are:
- Tuesday, March 22, at 5:30 p.m. CT, Sully Buttes High School Gymnasium, 500 S. 8th Street, Onida.
- Wednesday, March 23, at 5:30 p.m. CT, Washington Room, Ramkota Conference Center, 3200 W. Maple Street, Sioux Falls.
- Thursday, March 24, at noon CT, De Smet Event Center, 705 Wilder Lane, De Smet.
- Also Thursday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. CT, Redfield School Auditorium, 111 E. 6th Avenue, Redfield.
- Friday, March 25, noon CT, Northern Room, Ramkota Hotel, 1400 8th Avenue Northwest, Aberdeen.
The missed landowners should have received the letters in time to attend the Aberdeen meeting, according to Koenecke. McPherson County is northwest of Aberdeen. “I don’t think there is risk that this is untenable going forward,” he said.
Replied Hanson, “You’re the ones who have to take that risk.”
Commission chair Chris Nelson told Koenecke there also is public confusion because the company hasn’t picked a final route through South Dakota. Nelson said the sooner that people know — and the commissioners know — that route, “the better.”
Koenecke said that observation would be kept in mind going forward.