Legislative Committee considers five carbon pipeline related bills

South Dakota lawmakers on the House Commerce and Energy

Committee worked well into the evening Monday to deliberate on five

separate bills related to the construction of a carbon pipeline in

eastern South Dakota.

And though each of those bills shared similarities — a packed room,

opposition from Summit Carbon Solutions, and emotional testimony from

pipeline-skeptical landowners — they met different fates.

Here is a summary of what each sought to do, and what happened to those


House Bill 1185 – Amend provisions regarding entry on private property

for examination and survey of a project requiring a siting permit.

Prime Sponsors: House Majority Leader Will Mortenson (R-Fort Pierre) and

Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree (R-Madison)

One of several pieces of legislation being carried by this duo of

Republican leaders from each chamber, House Bill 1185 outlines rules for

conducting examinations and surveys on private property for projects

requiring siting permits, like carbon pipelines. Additionally, it would

require those doing survey work to make a one-time payment of $500 to

the owner of the property, and make an additional payments if damages


If passed, the bill would amend existing law to require that property

owners be given at least 30 days notice prior to entry onto their land,

and surveying companies would have to provide specifics such as the

anticipated time the surveying would happen and a description of the

type of surveying work that would be taking place. One concern raised in

committee was the bill would remove tenants from those who had to be

notified, it strikes from existing law a requirement to notify tenants

of scheduled surveys.

PASSED: 10 to 1


House Bill 1186 – Define the requirements for granting a carbon pipeline


Prime Sponsors: House Majority Leader Will Mortenson (R-Fort Pierre) and

Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree (R-Madison)

This bill would help lay the foundation for how an easement is granted

for a carbon pipeline, specifically the time frame. Easements for carbon

pipelines could last up to 50 years, or would expire after five years if

there was no activity on the lines, under the proposal. The deal would

be sweetened for landowners under the bill, because it would require

annual payments to go out to the owner of the property. Yearly payments

would have to include at least a dollar for every foot of pipeline on

the land.

PASSED: 8 to 3


House Bill 1190 – Establish public use criteria for purposes of

condemnation proceedings.

Prime Sponsor: Rep. Scott Odenbach (R-Spearfish)

This bill would have collated all the uses of eminent domain in South

Dakota under one section of law. Further, it would have clarified what’s

a “public” use, which would include roads and substations. The bill

specifies economic development projects, such as the carbon pipeline,

would not qualify for the use of eminent domain. In an attempt to

utilize eminent domain, the party pursuing condemnation would be

required to make a “good faith effort” to negotiate with the landowner

prior to filing for condemnation.


DEFEATED: 8 to 3


HOUSE BILL 1193 – Provide that required siting permits be filed with

condemnation petitions.

Prime Sponsor: Rep. Rocky Blare (R-Ideal)

The longtime representative’s one-page bill sought to clarify that

entities looking to pursue a condemnation hearing would be required to

file with the circuit court for the county where the property in

question was located. However, the reason the bill faced opposition from

Summit and other utility providers was because it would require any

project that needed to get approval from the Public Utilities


DEFEATED: 7 to 4


HOUSE BILL 1203 – Clarify references to the court in a condemnation


Prime Sponsor: Rep. Karla Lems (R-Canton)

This bill is modeled after similar legislation brought last year, which

soundly passed the House but was defeated in a Senate committee.

If passed this year, it would require that at a property condemnation

court proceedings, the plaintiff — the party pursuing condemnation — to

make a final monetary offer within 20 percent of the one ordered by the

court. If the amount awarded by the entity pursuing condemnation was

outside of twenty percent less than what the court determined should be

granted, then the court could order the plaintiff to reimburse the

defendant for reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated with

having brought the suit.

For example, if Summit Carbon Solutions made a final offer to a

landowner of $100,000 for an easement, and the landowner and Summit went

to court and the court determined that Summit should pay $125,000 to the

landowners, then the court could also order them to pay the landowner’s

attorney fees.

PASSED: 8 to 3

None of the three bills that passed will be considered on the House

floor Tuesday.