Navigator CO2 map.

Surveyors who were hired by a company that wants to build a carbon capture pipeline across Iowa are running into opposition when they try to gain access to some properties in northeast Iowa.

Delaware County Supervisor Shirley Helmrichs says at least 18 property owners or residents called the sheriff’s office last week with complaints about survey crews trespassing on their land — but their claims had to be rejected.
“If the surveyors come out and go on their property, by Iowa code, it is not deemed trespassing,” Helmrichs says, “but the landowners can say, ‘We’re not going to allow you on,’ and that sends them back to get a court-ordered injunction, then they can go on.”

Helmrichs says most residents she’s heard from are barring the pipeline surveyors from entering their property. “So far, I’ve just heard of one landowner that did give them permission to come on,” she says. “The rest are saying, ‘Go get your injunction.'” Landowners are voicing concerns over eminent domain, loss of quality farmland, the mission of this project, and safety.

Some residents may claim that they haven’t been properly notified about the pipeline project, but Helmrichs says they may’ve gotten something in the mail. “If they get a certified letter, they have to sign a form that’s attached to the front that shows they accepted that letter, but a lot of them did not sign for the letters, they went back to the post office, but the company had proof that they had mailed them,” Helmrichs says. “So that that’s considered their 10 day notice, which, it still rather shocks me and I know it shocked a lot of people that there were people roaming around the roads and the fields.”

Navigator CO2 proposes building a pipeline under miles of farmland from the Dyersville ethanol plant west through the county, just north of Earlville and Manchester and into Buchanan County, along with several other counties in the state. Navigator says the purpose of the pipeline is to capture carbon dioxide emissions produced at the ethanol plant and other facilities that are currently being emitted into the atmosphere.

During the capture process, the CO2 is dehydrated and compressed into a liquid form that can be safely made available for value-added commercial industrial uses or transported to a storage site, where it’s injected about a mile underground beneath thick layers of rock.

(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)