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SD Ag Alliance Urges Support For Landowner Bill of Rights (SB 201, HB 1185 and 1186)

(Pierre, SD) At the beginning of the Legislative Session, Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree and House Majority Leader Will Mortenson announced a legislative package that included extensive protections for landowners, additional compensation for landowners and counties, and more regulatory certainty for carbon capture pipelines. The legislative package has been amended by both the House and Senate and is now in conference committee to work out differences.

“Our goal was to give landowners more leverage, more protection, and more compensation in this carbon pipeline debate. Legislative leaders accomplished that with this agreement,” said Rob Skjonsberg, founding member. “Now, we can give Summit the certainty they need and a proper introduction to how we conduct business in South Dakota.”

The South Dakota Ag Alliance supports the current compromise language because it is a major victory for landowners in South Dakota,” said founding member Jason Glodt. “The current proposal will provide over $16 million to landowners and counties every year.”

The amended legislative package now includes the following protections and compensation for landowners and counties:

  1. Compensation for Landowners: Requires carbon capture pipelines to pay landowners $500 to access their land for surveying (HB 1185) and at least .50 cents per linear foot of pipeline through their property in the form of property tax relief (SB 201)
  2. Compensation for Counties: Allows counties to collect $1.00 per linear foot of pipeline that runs through their county. At least 50% of the surcharge must be used for property tax relief for landowners on the route. The remaining revenue can be spent by counties at their discretion. (SB 201)
  3. Indemnity for Landowners: Requires pipeline companies to indemnify landowners for liability. (SB 201)
  4. Minimum Burial Depth: Requires pipeline to be buried at least 4 ft deep, exceeding federal regulations of 3 ft (SB 201)
  5. Disclosure of Dispersion Models: Requires carbon pipeline companies to make dispersion modeling public. (SB 201)
  6. Lifetime Drain Tile Repairs: Requires pipeline companies to repair any damage to drain tile (SB 201)
  7. Impact Mitigation: Requires pipeline companies to file an impact mitigation plan. (SB 201)
  8. Leak Liability: Makes carbon pipeline companies liable to the landowner for any damage caused by leaks.  (SB 201)
  9. Land Surveyors Must be from SD: Requires land surveyors be South Dakota residents. (SB 201)
  10. Easements Terminate if Not Used in 5 years: Easements for pipelines terminate if pipeline does not receive PUC permit in 5 years and terminates after 5 years of non-use. (HB 1186)
  11. Bans Perpetual Easements: Limits easements to a maximum of 99 years (SB 201)
  12. Information Disclosure: Requires carbon pipeline companies to report linear footage of pipes in counties and disclose if they claim a tax credit. (SB 201) Landowner will also receive results of survey and examination and contact information for person in charge of inspection. (HB 1185)
  13. Mortgage Limitations: Protects landowners by restricting mortgages held by an easement holder so the mortgage only attaches to the easement holders rights and not to the land or obligate the property owner. (HB 1186)
  14. Easements Must Be Written: Requires companies to put easements in writing. (HB 1186)
  15. Survey and Access Limits:  Landowners reserve right to challenge the right to survey in circuit court. Landowners must be given 30 days written notice and include details about date, time, duration, location and contact information. (HB 1185)
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