Summit Carbon files more than 80 eminent domain lawsuits against South Dakota landowners

LEOLA, S.D. — Mike Klipfel knew this day would come soon enough.

On April 24 and 25, the Leola resident was named in three separate eminent domain lawsuits brought by Summit Carbon Solutions, the company behind a carbon sequestration pipeline that will chart a course across three different parcels of his land and 300 feet from his family home.

“If they can do it to us, they can do it to you,” Klipfel, who can trace his roots back nearly 140 years in McPherson County, told Forum News Service in a May 2 interview. “And they will if you have something they want.”

Klipfel is one of at least 80 landowners in 10 South Dakota counties, most of them in the northern half of the pipeline’s route through the eastern part of the state, facing eminent domain lawsuits filed by Summit Carbon over the past week.

Since the company has been “unable to acquire the necessary easements by agreement,” it’s seeking to “exercise its right of eminent domain,” the lawsuit against Klipfel reads.