Summit Carbon Solutions map.

A project manager for the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline says the company has about 20 percent of the voluntary easements from landowners they would need to complete the pipeline route through Iowa. Kylie Kretz spoke at this week’s meeting of the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors.

“Right now, we’re going back and doing route changes. So as we’ve started acquire easements across the project, we’ve changed the route over 2000 based on landowner requests and every time we do that, the surveyor has to come back and survey again, so now we’re doing bits and pieces,” she said, “but the main portion has been completed.”

Summit’s pipeline would span nearly 2000 miles over five states and ship carbon captured from 32 Midwest ethanol plants to underground storage in North Dakota. The route covers nearly 700 miles in Iowa. Several people who don’t want the pipeline on their property have complained to legislators that their private property rights would be violated if state officials grant the company authority to seize property from unwilling landowners.

Kretz said the company’s optimistic it will strike voluntary deals with many of the landowners who haven’t yet agreed to easements. “We’re virtually, you know, for the next eight months focused on working with the landowners and acquiring easements with them,” Kretz said.

Kretz told the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors that Iowa ethanol plants may have to close if the pipeline isn’t built. “The ethanol plants’ carbon intensity score
currently sits too high for the 2030-2040 regulations. If they don’t do anything to drop their carbon intensity score today, their doors will have to close in 2030,” Kretz said.

Summit filed paperwork with the Iowa Utilities Board in January, seeking a permit to build a hazardous liquid pipeline through Iowa. According to state law, the board must determine the pipeline’s proposed services “will promote the public convenience and necessity” in order to grant the permit.

(By Brian Wilson, KLGA, Algona; Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson also contributed to this story.)