PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota regulators are ready to move ahead on deciding whether to allow a carbon dioxide pipeline.
SCS Carbon Transport plans to build a line collecting CO2 from ethanol processors in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. The gas will be sequestered underground in central North Dakota.
The South Dakota Public Commission listened to the sides on Friday to estimate how much time they’ll need at a hearing on the $785 million portion of the project within the state. The three commissioners then decided the parties should work together on a schedule.
“We are looking for whatever dates you all can agree to,” commission chair Chris Nelson told the various sides. If they can’t come up with one set of dates, they should each submit a proposal and the commission will choose among those, Nelson said.
Nelson acknowledged he doesn’t know when the hearing should occur.
According to the SCS application, the South Dakota portion of the project needs 6,550 acres for construction and 2,866 acres for operations, with pump stations in Minnehaha, Kingsbury, Spink and McPherson counties.
Nelson asked a lawyer for the company whether SCS planned any additional route changes. “No, I can’t say that,” Brett Koenecke of Pierre replied.
Nelson asked whether the company has sent notices to additional landowners whose property after route realignments now falls within the 10-mile zone extending from the proposed route. Koenecke said no because there wasn’t anything to notify them about.
Kristen Edwards, a lawyer for the commission’s staff, said there was concern among the staff about the lack of notices to those landowners. Edwards said the notice tells where the project is and that they can intervene. “They wouldn’t know they were affected or had the opportunity,” she said. “That’s definitely something on our minds.”
Brian Jorde, an Omaha, Nebraska, lawyer representing several hundreds of landowners, told the commission he too was concerned by the lack of notice. “There is no rush,” said Jorde (jor-dee). He noted that projects seeking federal carbon credits such as SCS have until 2030 to get started. “There simply isn’t a reason to move this forward at this point.”