HomeTop StoriesThe main hearing on the US carbon capture pipeline begins in Iowa

The main hearing on the US carbon capture pipeline begins in Iowa

By Leah Douglas

(Reuters) – Iowa residents who live along the route of the largest proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) pipeline in the US told state regulators they were concerned about potential ruptures and land grabs during the hearing that will determine the fate of the project will determine.

The hearing, which could take weeks, is a major test for the $5.5 billion pipeline proposed by Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions, and for CCS, which sees US President Joe Biden’s administration as a crucial tool in the fight against climate change.

Summit’s pipeline would span 2,000 miles (3,218 km) across five states — most of them miles in Iowa — and transport a whopping 18 million tons of captured carbon dioxide from 35 Midwestern ethanol plants to an underground storage site in North Dakota.

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), which will decide whether to grant Summit’s permit application, heard Tuesday from landowners who have not signed any agreements with Summit and could be forced under eminent domain law to hand over land if the project moves forward .

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Jessica Marson told the board she feared the pipeline could rupture and its construction could damage her 80 acres of farmland.

“We are concerned about our safety, we are concerned about the community,” she said.

Summit told Reuters it has signed agreements from nearly 75% of residents along the Iowa route, which covers 499 miles, and is working to sign the 480 remaining landowners.

Summit also said the pipeline will be safe.

Along with landowners and Summit, the IUB will listen to ethanol companies, counties, the Sierra Club, the Iowa Farm Bureau and other parties at the hearing in Fort Dodge.

Summit recently faced a setback in North Dakota when regulators rejected its permit application on Aug. 4, citing a failure to prove the pipeline would not harm the state’s citizens and environment. The company filed a new application last Friday.

(Reporting by Leah Douglas; editing by Andy Sullivan)

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