Carbon dioxide storage

Proposed pipeline explained to Webster County landowners

-Submitted image
This map shows the proposed route of a carbon dioxide pipeline in Webster County.

Webster County landowners attended a public meeting Friday evening to discuss a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline that would run through farmland in Webster County.

Representatives from the Iowa Utilities Board, Summit Carbon Solutions, and the Office of Consumer Advocate spoke to landowners and presented information about the project and the procedure if the plan is approved.

The proposed pipeline would run through Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and end in North Dakota. The pipeline would remove carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol plants and transport the carbon dioxide in liquid form to underground geological storage in North Dakota. where it would be permanently stored.

Representatives from Summit Carbon, of Ames, said this project would benefit the agriculture industry by creating a more sustainable future for ethanol plants which in turn would sustain Iowa’s corn supplies.

The project would be a $4.5 billion total investment and could create upwards of 14,000 jobs during construction and over 350 full-time permanent jobs once the pipeline is operational.

Currently, Summit Carbon has contracts with 31 biorefinery companies including 12 in Iowa and representatives said they are still in talks with other ethanol and fertilizer plants.

The pipeline and storage would have the capacity to capture, transport, and store 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

Summit Carbon’s presentation included information about the company’s dedication to safety, compensation for landowners, and compensation for any crop loss. Summit Carbon also promised to repair or replace any drainage tile damaged during construction.

The proposed project timeline would be to start land surveying this month or in November., acquire land rights between now and March of 2023, file their permits, and begin construction in 2023 with the hope of being fully operational by 2024.

Landowners were presented with information about the Iowa Utilities Board which ultimately must decide whether or not to approve the pipeline permit, information about Iowa Code Chapter 479B which governs the construction of hazardous liquid pipelines in Iowa, information about the Office of Consumer Advocate, the permit process Summit Carbon must follow, and the legal rights of landowners.

Following the presentations, landowners were able to ask questions and voice concerns. Attendees asked questions of Summit Carbon and the Iowa Utility Board for about an hour before the meeting was adjourned.

Most of the questions were about specific issues with specific pieces of property along the proposed pipeline route.

The full docket and informational documents can be found on the Iowa Utilities Board website under docket number HLP-2021-0001. Objections, letters of support, or comments may be filed on the website as well. These statements will be considered by the Iowa Utilities Board as the permit process continues. Now that this meeting has been held, Summit Carbon will now be allowed to contact Webster County landowners in regard to their easements.


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