Brown County Commission approves one-year moratorium on transmission pipelines

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Aberdeen American News)- Brown County has approved a one-year moratorium on the construction of transmission pipelines.

That includes a carbon capture pipeline proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions.

The resolution, “imposes a temporary moratorium on the issuance of any and all permits, licenses or approvals for the construction, installation or use of any transmission pipeline requiring the approval of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, traversing those lands contained within the unincorporated areas of Brown County, South Dakota, including the construction of any transmission pipeline-related infrastructure.”

It was approved unanimously at Tuesday’s commission meeting at the Brown County Courthouse.

The resolution gives the Brown County Planning and Zoning Office up to a year to review related regulations. And, Brown County State’s Attorney Ernest Thompson said, if that review process is not complete in that time, the moratorium could be extended a second year with the passage of another resolution.

Approval came after significant discussion that included not only landowners who oppose Summit’s pipeline, but also Dan Lederman, senior advisor for LS2 Group, who spoke against the moratorium.

LS2 Group, based in Iowa, is a public relations and marketing group working with Summit Carbon Solutions.

Summit has applied for a permit with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to construct a pipeline through several South Dakota counties. Carbon dioxide emissions from 32 ethanol plants in five states would be sequestered underground in North Dakota to reduce carbon emissions. That would allow the ethanol plants to sell their product in states with low carbon fuel standards. Seven ethanol plants in South Dakota have signed on with the project.

The line would run about 2,000 miles and has an estimated cost of $4.5 billion.

Lederman said he’s been working with Summit since last summer and noted that a majority of commission discussion on the topic has been by people who are opposed to the project. But, he said, one perspective that hasn’t been heard is from someone representing an ethanol plant — a business that will benefit from this work.

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