Summit Carbon can survey private land, judge rules

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Summit Carbon Solutions can do surveys on the property of landowners whose land may be used for a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline in areas of South Dakota.

The summary judgment was issued by state Fifth Circuit Judge Richard Sommers on April 21. It’s a judgment on a civil lawsuit filed by landowners in Brown, Edmunds, McPherson and Spink Counties in 2022.

The state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is scheduled to decide on Summit Carbon’s pipeline permit application in September.

Landowner Roger Feickert summed up the judge’s decision like this: Summit can walk onto his land anytime it wants to even if he didn’t give them permission.

Permission is tied to the surveys but it’s also tied the issue of eminent domain.

Summit Carbon recently filed multiple lawsuits in multiple counties in the state on eminent domain. Summit Carbon wants to use eminent domain to secure property on which to locate its pipeline. Generally, eminent domain would be used on property for which the company and landowner did not agree on a price for use.