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Navigator CO2 pipeline would drop Linn County from new proposed route
Counties on the new route include Fayette, Bremer and Buchanan
The Navigator Heartland Greenway carbon dioxide pipeline would no longer go through Linn County under a new route proposed by the company.
The proposed 1,300-mile underground pipeline no longer would go through Linn, Benton, Cedar, Poweshiek and Clinton counties as proposed last year, but would include a new route in Bremer, Fayette, Buchanan and Delaware counties.
“The only reason we’re cutting up through Linn and Clinton counties was to access the ADM facility,” said Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, vice president of government and public affairs, referring to the ADM ethanol plant in Cedar Rapids. “With them no longer part of our footprint, we no longer need to put them into that routing formula.”
Navigator, a Texas company, in November proposed a pipeline to pass through 36 Iowa counties capturing CO2 at ethanol and fertilizer plants and transporting it to an underground site in southwest Illinois.
The goal of Navigator’s proposed $3 billion project is to sequester up to 15 million metric tons of CO2, which would yield federal tax credits.
Storing greenhouse gases in underground rock formations could help reduce the impacts of climate change — although there still are questions about how the relatively new technology would work.
Two other companies also have proposed CO2 pipelines through Iowa.
Summit Carbon Solutions is planning a 2,000-mile C02 pipeline through Iowa to North Dakota. The company filed in January for a permit with the Iowa Utilities Board, but a date for a public hearing has not yet been set.
ADM and Wolf Carbon Solutions announced in January they have signed a letter of intent to build a 350-mile pipeline to transport liquefied CO2 from ethanol and cogeneration facilities in Cedar Rapids and Clinton to ADM’s already-operational sequestration site in Decatur, Illinois.
Navigator held informational meetings in 36 counties starting last November and going through January. The plan was to file for a permit with the Iowa Utilities Board this summer.
What’s happened since
When ADM decided to partner with Wolf Carbon Solutions, Navigator no longer had reason to build a pipeline through Linn County, Burns-Thompson said.
Instead, Navigator announced a deal earlier this month with POET, which operates 33 bioprocessing facilities across eight states, including Iowa. Navigator will collect CO2 from 18 POET plants in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota as part of the Heartland Greenway pipeline.
“We’re now going a different route, so we needed to rework that,” Burns-Thompson said.
The main trunk line that carves a diagonal line from northwest to southeast Iowa now will have a lateral line from around the midpoint of the state east to the Dyersville area, she said. Navigator released a new map Tuesday.
Changing the route means notifying a new set of Iowans the proposed pipeline would go through their property and holding a new set of public meetings.
“We do anticipate we’ll have about a dozen new meetings we’ll have to do due to not only reworking the lateral in northeast Iowa, but there are a couple of counties where we need to shift out of our initial half-mile corridor,” Burns-Thompson said. “There are areas we have to completely go back to step one for those landowners.”
For parts of the route that have stayed the same since last fall, Navigator will be moving forward with financial offers for voluntary easements in mid-July, she said.
Burns-Thompson predicts the information meetings in each county will be held in August. The company hopes to file its permit application with the state utilities board before the end of the year.
Wolf plans to release its proposed route by midsummer, at which time informational meetings would be set, the company said this spring.
Hundreds of Iowa landowners, county boards of supervisors and environmental groups have opposed use of eminent domain to force easements to build CO2 pipelines. The pipeline companies have said they plan to get voluntary easements, but it’s unclear how many Iowans have signed financial deals so far.
Critics are concerned about the safety of the pipelines and do not think private companies should get federal tax credits for what they consider unproven technology.
Navigator CO2 pipeline timeline
November 2021: Starts holding county informational meetings about 1,300-mile CO2 pipeline in Iowa
January 2022: Finishes county meetings, holds statewide virtual meeting
June 7, 2022: Announces partnership with POET to capture CO2 from 18 ethanol plants in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota
August 2022: Expects to hold informational meetings with landowners on new proposed route, including Fayette, Bremer, Buchanan and Delaware counties
By December 2022: Expects to file permit application with the Iowa Utilities Board to build CO2 pipeline
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