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Second company seeks Iowa permit to build a carbon capture pipeline

A Texas-based company filed for a permit with the Iowa Utilities Board on Tuesday to build a 900-mile pipeline across the state to transport liquefied carbon dioxide, collected from the smokestacks of ethanol refineries, to Illinois, where it would be sequestered underground.

The filing is the first hurdle that the company, Navigator CO2, must clear to obtain formal approval from the board. It has already held meetings with residents and landowners in the dozens of Iowa counties where the proposed pipeline would be built.

Navigator is partnering with Poet, the country’s largest ethanol producer, on plans to collect CO2 from 33 Poet plants in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

With Tuesday’s filing, Navigator becomes the second CO2 pipeline company to seek formal approval from the state. Summit Carbon Solutions already has filed a permit request for its proposed 2,000-mile pipeline across Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

In January, Wolf Carbon Solutions and Archer Daniels Midland also proposed a pipeline, which would run from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Clinton, Iowa, and then on to Decatur, Illinois. The companies have not yet filed for a permit.

All three of the pipelines are controversial, with residents expressing concerns about safety and damage to valuable farmland. Constituents and elected officials have submitted more than 1,000 comments and objections to the utilities board.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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