We need local officials to protect us from CO2 pipelines

Joy Hohn

Summit Carbon Solutions is proposing a very hazardous, potentially lethal, CO2 pipeline across 18 counties in South Dakota. This proposed pipeline would be the first CO2 pipeline in South Dakota and is unlike any other pipelines running through our state. Unfortunately, there is still SO MUCH CONFUSION on where Summit’s final route will be. In addition, Summit is proposing the largest CO2 pipeline with NO previous experience constructing pipelines.   

The pipeline is proposed to be buried 4 feet underground which, as South Dakotans, we all know during rainy seasons with heavy equipment that 4 feet underground is not nearly enough! This pipeline will be under 2,100 pounds of pressure. Carbon dioxide is odorless and colorless, a silent killer. A pipeline leak/rupture under these high concentrations can result in death in less than 15 minutes of exposure. 

This year, reports from the U.S. DOT PHMSA and Accufacts both back up the facts that current regulations are inadequate. The regulations that are provided by the Federal Government are minimum recommendations. Only individual counties can set ordinances for setbacks. But why are our counties being so hesitant to protect us? Our big clue could be what is going on in Hand County.

Hand County was in the lead with protecting their citizens by becoming an intervenor in the Summit docket and by placing a resolution establishing a temporary moratorium. The July 5, 2022 agenda had no indication showing they would be voting on requesting removal of Hand County as an intervenor and/or that they were abandoning Hand County’s moratorium on hazardous material pipelines. Is this legal?  

Did the state’s attorney and commissioners succumb to the pressures from Summit that they will be sued if they continue with a moratorium and/or pass ordinances? Have they considered what happens if there is a rupture or leak? How many landowners/citizens will sue the county then for their inaction to protect their citizens/landowners?   

Are our elected officials, from the top down, being controlled by big corporations with deep pockets? It is up to citizens and landowners to hold each of our county commissioners and state’s attorneys accountable! What will you do? Will you do some research on your own to become educated about these very dangerous and potentially lethal CO2 pipelines? Will you attend the county commissioner’s meetings and hold the commissioners and state’s attorney accountable? Remember that only individual counties can set ordinances. It is up to you to hold our elected officials accountable in order to protect our future and our state of South Dakota!

Joy Hohn




The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
(605) 582-9999

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