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South Dakota State Land Right-of-Way (3-SD-b)

In South Dakota, a developer of an “electrical facility” must obtain a state land easement/right-of-way certificate for projects proposed across any school or public lands from the South Dakota Department of School and Public Lands. 49 S.D. § 32-1; 49 S.D. § 7-16. An electrical facility includes the construction, operation, or maintenance of electric transmission lines. 49 S.D. § 7-22. Electrical facilities may obtain a right-of-way certificate for an easement across state school or public lands for stations, substations, or buildings necessary for electrical energy transmission. 49 S.D. § 7-22.


State Land Right-of-Way Process

3-SD-b.1 to 3-SD-b.2 – Map and Description of Proposed Project Right-of-Way

The developer must file a map and description of the proposed project right-of-way across any state school or public lands. 49 S.D. § 7-16. The map and description filed must survey an electric facility route clearly indicting the centerline of the right-of-way and area in acres and fractions. 49 S.D. § 7-15. The chief engineer of the South Dakota Department of School and Public Lands must certify the map and description (plat). 49 S.D. § 7-15.

Note: No right-of-way may exceed ten feet in width without approval from the Governor. 49 S.D. §§ 7-13, 14.


3-SD-b.3 – File Plat with Commissioner and Register of Deeds

Once the map and description have been certified, the developer must file the plat of the electrical facility route with the Commissioner of the South Dakota Department of School and Public Lands, and must file a duplicate with the register of deeds of each county in which the land is situated. 49 S.D. § 7-15.


3-SD-b.4 – Review Map of Proposed Project Right-of-Way

The Commissioner of South Dakota Department of School and Public Lands reviews the map and description of the proposed project right-of-way over state school or public land. 49 S.D. § 7-16.


3-SD-b.5 – Certificate for State School or Public Land Right-of-Way

The Commissioner of South Dakota Department of School and Public Lands may issue to the electrical facility a certificate stating that the proposed state school or public lands are reserved for the facility’s use. The certificate operates as authority for the electric facility to take, hold, and use those lands for the purposes of transmitting electrical energy. 49 S.D. § 7-16.

The developer must construct the proposed project within one year from the filling date or forfeit their rights to the acquired right-of-way. 49 S.D. § 7-17.




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