Brown County commissioners encouraged to stand their ground facing CO2 pipeline lawsuit

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Aberdeen American News)- Opponents to the Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline spoke during the open forum portion of Tuesday’s Brown County Commission meeting, offering support and encouragement as the county faces a federal lawsuit filed by Summit.

The lawsuit is challenging the legality of a one-year moratorium on the construction of hazardous material pipelines approved by commissioners earlier this year.

The moratorium is intended to allow the county time to review its zoning regulations. Commissioners were served with the lawsuit last week.

Ed Fischbach, who has long opposed the proposed carbon capture and sequestration pipeline project, thanked the commission for passing the moratorium, which was after the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission asked counties to weigh in.

“You did take a position and you’re within your rights,” he said. “You should hold your ground. Summit is showing who they are.”

Fischbach also said the attorney who is representing local landowners in court proceedings against Summit is available to counties as well.

Commission Chairman Duane Sutton said Brown County will be represented by the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance.

Fischbach also noted that Summit surveyors were drilling holes in the county road on the Spink/Brown County border.

“Why do they continue to get away with that and what purpose is there to that?” he asked.

Commissioners did not have an immediate response, but the topic was broached later in discussion with Highway Superintendent Dirk Rogers. Rogers said he visited with the survey crew and they were applying a patch over the holes.

“We are monitoring what they’re doing,” he said. “It’s no different from any other survey crew out there.”