North Dakota Regulator Rejects Summit Carbon Solutions Carbon Pipeline Application

(Reuters) — The North Dakota Public Service Commission on Friday rejected a permit application from Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions to run 320 miles (514.99 km) of pipeline through the state to transport captured carbon dioxide from ethanol plants to an underground storage site.

Summit is one of three companies, alongside Navigator CO2 Ventures and Wolf Carbon Solutions, seeking to build multi-state Midwest carbon pipelines in an effort to decarbonize the ethanol sector and prove the utility of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a climate solution.

The three-member commission said in its order that Summit had "failed to meet its burden of proof to show the (project) will produce minimal adverse effects on the environment and upon the welfare of the citizens of North Dakota."

Summit said in a statement that it "respects the decision" of the commission and plans to reapply for a permit in the state.

North Dakota residents had expressed concern to the commission about damage to their farmland and property values as well as the safety of transporting and storing carbon dioxide, according to the order.

Jess Mazour, an organizer with the Sierra Club in Iowa, which opposes the carbon pipelines, said the decision in North Dakota should set an example for other states where tense disputes are underway between landowners and the pipeline companies over issues like eminent domain.

"This decision is huge," she said. "We're fighting the exact same battle [and] it should be the same outcome."

Summit had planned to store as much as 18 million tons of CO2 annually in a North Dakota storage site. The company said in March that it had signed easement agreements with 375 North Dakota landowners along 70% of its pipeline route.

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