There has been a lot of back and forth lately as landowners and ethanol leaders try to navigate carbon capture pipeline projects.

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Landowners have raised their opposition to private companies trying to force access to their land with eminent domain. Ethanol leaders argue these projects are necessary for Iowa’s position as a leader in ethanol production.

Lawmakers and counties have chimed in by proposing rules that make it more challenging for companies to gain access to land.

Over in northeast Iowa, five counties are hiring an attorney to respond to one of the pipeline projects.

Bremer, Butler, Delaware, Emmet, and Floyd Counties have teamed up to hire a legal counsel over Navigator’s Heartland Greenway pipeline. The proposed project is set to span 33 Iowa counties covering 800 miles.

According to Radio Iowa, the boards have hired Timothy Whipple, a Des Moines attorney who specializes in work with government boards. Whipple’s role will be assisting in drafting future ordinances and representing the counties in Utility Board meetings.

Delaware County Supervisor Shirley Helmrichs says that the counties are filing a petition to intervene.

It’s not an ordinance, but it allows us to be in Utility Board hearings and be able to have, basically, a seat at the table…We’re working on getting an inspector — this is in our petition to intervene, that if we need more than one and definitely we would need more than one. In past history, if you needed one, they were 10 miles down the line and that’s not OK for our landowners. We’re trying to be proactive.

The Navigator pipeline would run through Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa and end in Illinois where it will store carbon underground.


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