Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct a factual error in the fourth paragraph regarding the Oct. 19, 2021 filing by Navigator with the Iowa Utilities Board.
In fact, Navigator has not yet filed a petition for a hazardous liquid pipeline permit and cannot do so until at least 30 days after the final public informational meeting has been held, in accordance with Iowa Code chapter 479B. The story later quotes IUB Communications Director Don Tormey explaining that.
The story, which was published in print on July 14 in the Oelwein Daily Register incorrectly stated that Navigator had "filed a petition with the Iowa Utilities Board for a hazardous liquid pipeline permit to transport liquified carbon dioxide.”
In that filing, in Docket No. HLP-2021-0003, the company requested dates for the public informational meetings in affected counties and to provide a preliminary map of the proposed pipeline route and additional documents, including a draft notice to customers about the informational meetings and project materials the company prepared to share with customers, according to Melissa Myers, communications specialist with the Iowa Utilities Board.
The newspaper regrets the error.
An informational meeting will be held in Bremer County to review plans by a company to build a pipeline to capture carbon from the ethanol plants.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 23 at the Centre Hall at 1211 Fourth St. in Waverly.
A company called Navigator Heartland Greenway LLC (Navigator) is proposing to build a carbon capture pipeline that will span approximately 900 miles in Iowa, and it is planned to go through Bremer County.
On Oct. 19, 2021, in filings with the Iowa Utilities Board (Docket No. HLP-2021-0003) the company requested dates for the public informational meetings in affected counties, among other things, according to Melissa Myers, a communications specialist with the IUB. The Butler County Board of Supervisors are listed in this document, along with other county supervisors and individuals, as participants.
On June 15, Navigator asked the IUB for additional informational meetings, which include Bremer and Butler counties as well as Delaware, Buchanan, Fayette, Hardin, Hamilton, Webster, Polk, Lyon, Osceola and Lee counties, according to filing records.
“Recognizing the economic and environmental benefits that the project will deliver, several additional facilities have elected to participate in the project,” the June 15 filing with the IUB states. “This additional interest, as well as information gleaned from initial surveys, has resulted in changes and additions to the project route.”
Navigator is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navigator CO2, Ventures LLC, and its stated goal is to build “a more sustainable future while putting communities and states we operate in an accelerated path toward decarbonization,” according to the company’s website.
In the project overview, displayed on the website, the company says it plans to build 1,300 miles of new liquid CO2 pipeline, with 900 miles in 36 counties in Iowa.
When the envisioned project is completed, it is expected that Heartland Greenway will capture and store 15 million metric tons of CO2 every year, according to the website.
That amount is the “equivalent annually to the emissions from approximately 3.2 million cars driven, CO2 sequestered by 18.3 million acres of US forest, or eliminating the carbon footprint of the Des Moines metro area three times over,” the website says.
JUNE MEETINGS IN BREMER COUNTY
In Bremer County, the board discussed the CO2 pipeline on June 20, according to minutes.
Later, county officials viewed a presentation from Navigator.
Supervisor Ken Kammeyer, who attended that second meeting, told Waverly Newspapers that it was an overview of the proposed project.
Kammeyer said he had a question about safety.
“They assured us that safety is the first thing on their mind,” he said.
Landowners along the path of the pipeline will be receiving notifications, Kammeyer added.
The company is required by law to notify owners no less than 30 days prior to the meeting date, Donald Tormey, a spokesman for the IUB, told Waverly Newspapers in an email communication.
AUG. 23 MEETING AT CENTRE IN WAVERLY
Tormey said the purpose of the informational meeting is to “provide landowners with information about the proposed project and about the IUB’s procedures, not to receive evidence on the project’s merits.”
He said that at the meeting, the public will hear from two presenters–a representative of the IUB who will summarize the legal rights of the affected homeowners; and a Navigator representative who will explain the project.
A question-and-answer session will then follow.
“The company cannot begin right-of-way (easement) negotiations with landowners in a county until an informational meeting has been conducted in that county,” Tormey wrote in an emailed response to the paper. “The company cannot petition the IUB for a permit until at least 30 days after meetings have been held in all affected counties. Informational meetings are not evidentiary hearings upon which the IUB will base a decision. There is no formal record of the meeting.”
He added that the board only considers written objections filed in the docket.
Tormey said the IUB does not get involved in the voluntary agreements between landowners and the company.
However, if the company requests the right of eminent domain, the IUB “does review those easements when it considers whether to vest the company with the right of eminent domain.”
At least 30 days after the final informational meeting is held, the company can file a petition with the IUB. A public hearing is then scheduled, with notices running for two consecutive weeks in the newspaper, and a public hearing is held.
“At the hearing, the IUB hears evidence in favor of or opposing the proposed pipeline,” Tormey wrote. “After the hearing, the IUB will review all evidence and testimony and issue its decision order, which could grant the permit, grant the permit with modifications, or deny the permit.”
Kammeyer, the county supervisor, said he plans to attend the informational meeting in Waverly.
“It’s just something to help Mother Nature,” he said. “It’s a project that has to take place. Is this a project everyone’s going to like? I doubt it, but we will find out more at the meeting.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.