PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The hearing scheduled for next month will go ahead after all on the permit application from SCS Carbon Transport for the South Dakota portion of the route of its proposed carbon-dioxide pipeline.
Landowners opposed to the pipeline crossing their properties in South Dakota wanted the state Public Utilities Commission to set aside the application. The reason, according to the landowners’ attorney, Brian Jorde of Omaha, Nebraska, is that the North Dakota Public Service Commission has already rejected Summit’s application there.
SCS wants to dispose of the CO2 at a central North Dakota site.
The sides presented arguments Tuesday to the South Dakota commission. State Treasurer Josh Haeder, who’s replacing commission chair Kristie Fiegen because she said she has a conflict of interest in the matter, used a baseball analogy in calling for the landowners’ request to be denied.
“We’re in the bottom of the ninth inning in a very long and complex process,” said Haeder, who described himself as a Minnesota Twins fan. “It’s time to finish the game.”
Jorde argued that because Summit needed to file a new application in North Dakota that will take six to seven months to be considered, “At this point, there isn’t a viable path forward.”
But Brett Koenecke, a Pierre attorney representing Summit on the South Dakota portion of the project, naturally didn’t agree.
“This smacks of some kind of Hail Mary attempt to derail the proceedings in this state,” Koenecke said.
Bill Van Camp, another Pierre attorney representing the various ethanol plants in South Dakota that support Summit’s project, also said the landowners’ objection should be rejected.
So did Amanda Reiss, an attorney for the commission’s staff. She said South Dakota’s law lets the commission decide. “Because Summit is still working through the process, it does not appear it is black and white,” she said. Reiss said the landowners can make their arguments during the hearing that opens September 11.
Neither of the two other commissioners, Chris Nelson or Gary Hanson, disagreed. The vote was 3-0 to discard the landowner’s request.