Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline hearings in Iowa to start in October
Summit wanted proceedings to start in March but Iowa Utilities Board disagreed.
DES MOINES, Iowa — Public hearings in Iowa on the controversial Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline won't begin until October, months later than the company had requested.
The Iowa Utilities Board on Friday, Feb. 17, announced that the time frame for public hearings will be from October 2023 to January 2024.
The board also set a technical conference for 10 a.m. March 15, to discuss logistics for the hearing and how parties and those who have filed for intervention can better understand the procedural schedule and how the remainder of the docket will progress. Specific dates for the hearing will be determined at the technical conference.
Parties and persons who have filed for intervention will be required to file a notice of participation by March 8, 2023, indicating their intent to participate at the technical conference.
Summit Carbon filed its petition for a hazardous liquid pipeline permit with the IUB in Docket No. HLP-2021-0001 on Jan. 28, 2022. The company seeks to build 687 miles of 6- to 24-inch diameter pipeline for liquefied carbon dioxide within Iowa, part of a five-state, 2,000 mile pipeline project.
Summit's Midwest Carbon Express proposes to capture carbon dioxide emissions from 32 ethanol plants and pipe it to western North Dakota for underground storage. The project would help the ethanol plants lower their carbon intensity score and allow them to sell their corn-based fuel in low-carbon fuel markets, such as California.
Summit had said it wanted to begin construction in 2023 and be operational in 2024, but is still working on permitting and obtaining right-of-way. In December, Summit told the IUB it hoped for hearings to begin in March. Other parties, including the attorney representing landowners who object to the pipeline, said that was not workable.
Carbon pipelines have been a hot topic in Iowa, with Summit’s Midwest Carbon Express the furthest along of three planned projects in the state.
Summit Carbon Solutions is a spinoff of Iowa-based Summit Agriculture Group. Summit says the project will benefit the ethanol industry, farmers, the economy and the environment. But environmentalists and some landowners have been vocal in their opposition, especially the use of eminent domain to force landowners to provide a path for the pipeline.
Summit says it has so far obtained voluntary easements on about 60% of the route through Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
On Tuesday, some Iowa legislators, impacted landowners and advocates will rally at the state capitol in opposition to using eminent domain for carbon pipelines.