Several people spoke during the meeting. (KMCH photo)

The proposed Iowa route for a Texas company’s carbon pipeline has changed and more than 200 people packed a public hearing in Manchester to express their opinions on the project.

The Navigator pipeline would ship liquified carbon dioxide from ethanol plants to storage in Illinois. Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, a vice president for Navigator, said the route was adjusted once Archer-Daniels-Midland decided to pursue its own carbon pipeline.

“We changed a large part of the footprint up here in northeast Iowa,” Burns-Thompson said. “…Additionally, we’ve had POET join onto our footprint as well.”

A dozen POET ethanol plants in Iowa would be connected to the the Navigator pipeline route. During last night’s hearing, Dubuque County Supervisor Ann McDonough said the company has given zero safety information to emergency services in the area.

“The folks in this room are terribly worried about safety…Fire, EMS here are people sitting in this room. Who’s going to respond to this? These are our kids,” McDonough said, drawing applause.

A man who spoke at the hearing in Manchester said the proposed route would come within a quarter mile of his house and he’s concerned about ruptures. “How will you ensure that my family will not ever, ever experience many of the physical or medical issues as a result of this pipeline?” he asked.

In 2020, a carbon pipeline rupture in Mississippi prompted the evacuation of a small town, as liquified carbon dioxide can cause nausea, headaches, mental confusion and respiratory issues. Several speakers urged the audience to send written objections to the Iowa Utilities Board, which will review Navigator’s requests to seize property from landowners unwilling to sign voluntary easements for the pipeline.

Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions is the third company seeking landowner agreements for a pipeline.

(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)