Summit Carbon Solutions continues to work on establishing a new route through South Dakota after its initial construction permit application for a carbon sequestration pipeline was not accepted.
While that process continues, there has been local chatter about Summit organizing public meetings.
Sabrina Zenor, director of corporate communications for Summit, said there have been office hours sessions in Brown and Spink counties open to all people who have questions about the company’s pipeline project.
Those are different from legal public meetings set by governmental bodies that require publication of meeting details and agenda items.
Office hours information has previously been published on Summit’s Facebook page. The posts note that Summit officials were available for two hours at both the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center and the Redfield Carnegie Library in mid-November and mid-October.
Information about Summit office hours in December to be posted on Facebook
Zenor said additional office hours will be set in December. Details have yet to be finalized, but will be posted on Facebook.
No representatives from Summit have been at Brown County Commission meetings for about a month.
There has been considerable opposition to the pipeline in Brown and surrounding counties, but company officials have said they will continue seeking easements from landowners in an attempt to run the pipeline through the region. That work continues.
Summit hopes to build a 2,000-mile, $4.5 billion pipeline through the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska that would sequester carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol plants underground in western North Dakota.
To date, regulators in South Dakota and North Dakota have declined the company’s attempts to get construction permits. In South Dakota, that has led Summit to work on new route options.
Applications are pending with equivalent boards in Nebraska and Minnesota, and the permit process is winding down in Iowa, Zenor said. While the public hearing has concluded, both sides are submitting more information, and no deadline has been set concerning when there will be a decision, she said.
Zenor said there isn’t yet a timeline on when the new route through South Dakota will be set, though Summit CEO Lee Bank is hoping for early 2024. Once that work is done, Summit will submit a new permit to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, she said.
In North Dakota, Zenor said, Summit officials are going through the process of submitting additional details to reopen its case for consideration.