Carbon pipeline surveyor charged for trespassing on private property

A virtual ethanol plant is seen in a screen grab in a video provided by Summit Carbon Solutions.
A virtual ethanol plant is seen in a screen grab in a video provided by Summit Carbon Solutions.(Summit Carbon Solutions)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:44 PM CST
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Update: After this story aired, a spokesperson for the pipeline company contacted KTIV News 4 and said their employee was cited but not arrested.

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - An employee of a carbon pipeline company was arrested for trespassing earlier this year. It’s the first in a set of legal battles about when the companies can conduct surveys without landowner consent.

A Dickinson County Sheriff’s Deputy arrested 28-year-old Stephen Larsen back in August of this year. It’s another battle over how and when these pipeline companies can conduct surveys, and what rules they have to follow.

Because it’s a citation, we don’t have a lot of narrative detail, but he’s charged with first-degree trespassing. In court, the pipeline company, Summit Carbon Solutions, is arguing the citation can’t stand because Iowa law allows these types of surveys.

The pipeline company says these surveys are allowed after the company gives notice to the landowner. They argue, even if the landowner declines the survey, the company can move forward without the landowner’s consent.

However, opponents say the pipeline companies are just trying to finish their projects at any cost.

”It just shows these are not the kind of businesses that we want here in the state where Iowa nice, we don’t You don’t shove things down people’s throats like these pipeline companies are trying to do,” said Jessica Mazour, a conservation coordinator with the Sierra Club, Iowa chapter.

Larsen’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss, and a judge will consider the motion on December 8 at 9:30 a.m. inside the Dickinson County Courthouse in Spirit Lake, Iowa.