SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted to deny Navigator’s request to build. They also denied the company’s motion to overrule local ordinances that would prevent them from building.
Minnehaha is one county the pipeline was planning to go through. Many landowners on the east side of South Dakota have followed the potential pipeline project that would go through several counties like Minnehaha and Moody County.
“So just from a pure volume of constituent concerns, this has definitely been our number one issue and I think we’ve given it the due diligence that it required many different public comment sessions, different hearings on the ordinance itself,” said Joe Kippley, commissioner of Minnehaha County.
Jean Bender was keen to see the state vote to deny the Navigator’s motion to preempt local ordinances.
“It was gratifying to see that they did protect that right to local control. So that was what I was most frankly interested in today. We knew that decision would have come about but what has the broader impact is that they voted 3-0 to deny the Navigator application,” said Jean Bender, commissioner of Minnehaha County.
With the summit pipeline hearing next week, now commissioners are keeping an eye on what the state will say to that request.
“Our interest is really with respect to the ordinance that we’ve passed the planning and zoning ordinance and so if that was contested, again, like it was in this hearing, Summit is contesting our ability to pass that ordinance in their hearing,” said Bender.
Regardless of the outcome, Bender says this won’t be the last time they hear from the pipelines.
“These companies are very invested in these pipelines have invested a lot of time and energy and money. I doubt that they will just give up I’m sure they’ll be looking at what their best options are,” said Bender.
Navigator issued a statement saying they are disappointed with the decision and plan to pursue the permit process in other regions. You can read their entire statement and Bob Mercer’s coverage.
Currently, there are no CO2 pipelines in South Dakota. The state PUC commission opens a hearing on the Summit Carbon Solutions application on Monday, September 11.