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CO2 pipeline sparks eminent domain talks in Iowa

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

Pipeline developer Summit Carbon Solutions wants to build a carbon dioxide pipeline through Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA. It would carry liquid CO2 through Iowa, which is part of a bigger plan to include four other states in delivering the liquid from ethanol plants to underground storage locations in North Dakota and Illinois.

Part of the recent Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors’ hearing concerned a contract with inspection firm ISG Inc. to monitor the pipeline project should it go through.

“We’re there to watch and ensure that the contractors are following the Iowa code requirements and to minimise any long-term effects that the construction may have on the agricultural land,” Pipeline Project Coordinator, Tiffany Kruizenga said.

In a statement to WOWT 6 News, Summit said it has acquired voluntary easements of private property in the county for 90% of the pipeline’s planned route. It said if the pipeline is built, the company would annually pay US$880 000 in property taxes in Pottawattamie County.

The possibility of using eminent domain to make that happen has come up. Eminent domain is the government’s power to take private property and convert it into public use, with compensation to the property owners. In August 2022, the board of supervisors unanimously declared its opposition to using that for constructing such a pipeline.

“I have no problems with property owners doing what they want to do with their own private property,” Board Member, Jeff Jorgensen said. “What I have an issue with is forcing private property owners to do things they don’t want to do.”

Jorgensen believes if eminent domain is used, more companies will try to use it for other projects. He also fears a scenario like the one in Satartia, Mississippi in 2020. Around 45 people were hospitalised after being gassed in their homes and nearby vehicles because of a ruptured CO2 pipeline.

“We don’t need those kinds of incidences here in Pottawattamie County, especially if we’re trying to attract people into our county – businesses, corporate headquarters, tourist trade – we don’t need that kind of incident to happen,” Jorgensen said.

6 News asked Summit for its comments on that event, as well as the use of eminent domain to build the pipeline, but received no answer.


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