Landowners air concerns over proposed pipeline

Approximately 75 attend informational meeting at Best Western

-Messenger photo by Michaela Frerichs
Dozens of landowners and community members attended an informational meeting about a proposed carbon dioxide capture pipeline Tuesday evening at the Best Western Starlite Village.

Webster County landowners attended a public meeting Tuesday evening to discuss a proposed carbon capture pipeline that would run through Webster County.

Representatives from the Iowa Utilities Board and Navigator Heartland Greenway LLC spoke to approximately 75 landowners at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites and presented information about the project and the procedure if the plan is approved.

The proposed pipeline would consist of 1,300 miles of new liquid CO2 pipeline with about 900 miles in Iowa through 36 Iowa counties. The pipeline would stretch to South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Illinois.

The pipeline would be able to remove carbon dioxide emissions and transport up to 15 million metric tons per year of liquid CO2 to a permanent storage geological structure more than a mile below ground in Illinois.

Representatives from Navigator said there are many benefits to carbon capture, such as removing excess emissions from the environment and economic incentives for plants that participate.

The project would also involve a $1.6 billion investment into the state of Iowa and create approximately 5,000 jobs during construction and 50 permanent jobs after construction is complete.

Once the informational meetings are complete, Navigator can begin constructability and environmental surveys.

The company has several steps required before construction can begin, including being granted state and federal permits and they anticipate construction commencing at the start of 2024 if all the other steps are completed as predicted.

Landowners were also presented with information about the Iowa Utilities Board which ultimately must decide whether or not to approve the pipeline permit, information about the Office of Consumer Advocate, the permit process Navigator must follow, and the legal rights of landowners.

Following the presentations, landowners were able to ask questions and voice concerns.

Some concerns related to the safety of the pipeline and what would happen if there were a leak. Navigator representatives said they have never had any incidents, but they have studied a previous incident that occured within a different company and have taken precautions in order to prevent any issues.

Another landowner asked who benefits from the pipeline. Representatives said the plants and factories that participate in removing carbon emissions benefit economically through tax credits and emission offsets. In addition, Navigator and their investors would benefit as a private for-profit company. Navigator representatives also said the landowners would benefit from the purchase of land easements and benefit indirectly as plants and factories in the area prosper. The majority of landowners who spoke voiced their opposition to the project.

The full docket and informational documents can be found on the Iowa Utilities Board website under docket number HLP-2021-0003.

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, Navigator will now be allowed to contact Webster County landowners in regard to their easements.


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