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PUC staff calls for application denial on Summit carbon pipeline

Summit Carbon Solutions' proposed map of pipelines through eastern South Dakota
Summit Carbon Solutions' proposed map of pipelines through eastern South Dakota

South Dakota PUC staff have requested that Summit Carbon Solution’s application be denied ahead of the company's hearing date.

The move comes a day after Summit withdrew its request to preempt county pipeline rules.

Several counties have established pipeline setback distances that Summit's existing planned route does not follow.

A motion filed Friday and signed by PUC Staff Attorney Kristen Edwards argued without preemption, Summit cannot build the pipeline and meet state law. For this reason, PUC staff requested that the commission deny Summit’s application.

The commission has yet to act on the motion. Staff requested the motion be heard before formal proceedings begin on Monday.

This comes after an unsuccessful attempt by landowner intervener Brain Jorde to get the PUC to dismiss Summit Carbon Solution’s application for similar reasons.

Summit did not provide a reason for withdrawing its preemption request. However, the move came one day after the PUC denied a request by a separate pipeline company, Navigator CO2, to preempt county rules.

In the motion to deny Summit's application, PUC Staff conclude:

"For the reasons stated above, staff respectfully requests the commission deny without prejudice the application pursuant to SDCL 49-41B-13(1) and SDCL 49-41B-13(2) and allow applicant to refile if and when it is able to comply with all local ordinances and is able to produce at route which does not violate local land-use zoning or ordinances."

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.
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