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PSC denies CO2 pipeline siting plan

Courtesy ND PSC

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has denied a corridor and route permit for a pipeline to bring carbon dioxide from ethanol plants in the upper Midwest to be sequestered in North Dakota.

Summit Carbon Solutions is proposing the pipeline. Some North Dakotans oppose the pipeline, because they worried about potential leaks, as well as the potential for the company to use eminent domain if it could not come to an agreement with landowners along the route.

PSC Chairman Randy Christmann said SCS failed to follow some of the steps in state law, when it comes to siting pipelines.

"SCS has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the location, operation and maintenance of the project will produce minimum adverse impacts on the welfare of the citizens of North Dakota with the existing record," Christmann said,

Christmann also said his decision on the permit is not indicative of his personal position on CO2 sequestration or the importation of carbon dioxide.

"This is only about this project, in this location, under these circumstances," Christmann said.

Summit can re-file, or can appeal the PSC’s decision to the courts.

In a statement, Summit said it “respects the decision by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, and we will revisit our proposal and reapply for our permit. We're committed to understanding and incorporating the considerations outlined in the decision. We are confident that our project supports state policies designed to boost key economic sectors: agriculture, ethanol, and energy.”

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