The Board of Supervisors in a western Iowa county will consider an ordinance that would establish some restrictions for where carbon pipelines could be routed.

“Our job is not to stop it,” said Steve Kenkel, chairman of the Shelby County Board of Supervisors. “Our job is that we can all play in the same sandbox, but you have to abide and guarantee us that we can protect the areas that we need to grow and be safe.”

The proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline would run through Earling and Westphalia in Shelby County. The proposed zoning ordinance would prevent hazardous liquid pipelines from being built within two miles of city limits. Shelby County Public Health director Lori Hoch said it would be up to local emergency crews to respond to pipeline ruptures or failures.

“You know it gives you time,” she says, “it buys you time if you have a setback so that you can help folks in an emergency situation.”

The ordinance would require any liquid pipeline to be half a mile from hospitals, schools, churches and nursing homes. A spokesman for Summit Carbon Solutions said the proposed Shelby County ordinance is “inconsistent with Iowa law,” as
the legislature has granted the Iowa Utilities Board authority over the permits, siting and regulation of pipelines that convey hazardous liquids.

According to Summit’s spokesman, the company has voluntary easements from 900 Iowa property owners for 53% of the land along its proposed route.

(By Kendall Crawford, Iowa Public Radio/O. Kay Henderson Radio Iowa)