North Dakota sets 4 hearings on Summit Carbon pipeline

Summit Carbon Solutions says its pipeline project will help ethanol plants. The project aims to capture greenhouse gas emissions and pipe the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.

Summit Carbon Solution logo

BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Public Service Commission has set four hearings to gather public input on a controversial carbon capture pipeline.

The $4.5 billion Summit Carbon Solutions project aims to capture greenhouse gas emissions from 32 ethanol plants in five states and store it underground in western North Dakota.

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The following hearing schedule was released Wednesday, Feb. 1:

  • 8:30 a.m. March 14 at the North Dakota Heritage Center auditorium in Bismarck for Oliver, Morton and Burleigh counties. 
  • 9 a.m. March 28 at the North Sargent School Activity Center in Gwinner for Dickey and Sargent counties.
  • 9 a.m. April 11 at the Harry Stern and Ella Stern Cultural Center at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton for Cass and Richland counties. 
  • 9 a.m. May 9 at the Emmons County Courthouse in Linton for Emmons, Logan and McIntosh counties.

In North Dakota, to be part of the PSC's evidentiary record, public input is only gathered at in-person hearings .

The North Dakota portion of the Midwest Carbon Express pipeline and storage sites will cost about $900 million, according to Summit Carbon Solutions.


Summit ND route.png

The only ethanol plant in North Dakota that is part of the project is Tharaldson Ethanol at Casselton. Other plants are in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Tharaldson Ethanol in Casselton, North Dakota, plant produces about 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide per day, according to company officials.
Jaryn Homiston / Agweek

A key issue in the 2,000 mile pipeline project is eminent domain, where private property can be taken if it is deemed to be for a public use.

As of Jan. 24, Summit said it has voluntary easement agreements on 58% of the North Dakota pipeline route and 85% of the sequestration area in Morton and Oliver Counties.

Summit says its goal has been 100% voluntary easements and is signing up new landowners daily.

Several North Dakota counties have passed resolutions against the use of eminent domain on the project

The Burleigh County Commission on Feb. 6 will discuss an ordinance to further restrict hazardous liquids pipelines.

Emmons County has passed an ordinance that would increase the permit fee for the project and require 100% voluntary easements.

The North Dakota Legislature is also considering bills that could make it harder for companies to construct carbon capture pipelines.


Summit says the ethanol plants will be able to sell their corn-based fuel at a premium in markets that have adopted low carbon fuel standards, such as California and Canada.

Opponents cite potential problems such as damage to farmland, negative effects on property values, and safety hazards.

Summit will need to obtain a separate permit for the underground storage area for the liquid carbon dioxide.

Reach Jeff Beach at or call 701-451-5651 (work) or 859-420-1177.
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