FILE - Des Moines, Iowa, skyline

Des Moines, Iowa, skyline

(The Center Square) – The Iowa Utilities Board announced Friday it’s holding a hearing April 12 to ensure that the location of the hearing for Summit Carbon Solutions’ request for permit of a hazardous liquid pipeline is legal.

The IUB seeks input on whether the hearing for the permit can be held in a county where the proposed pipeline wouldn’t be located.

Determining where the hearing should take place is difficult because the pipeline proposal has multiple lines, not just one, the IUB’s Friday order said.

The hearing regarding the location of the upcoming hearing will take place after the IUB’s April 12 monthly public board meeting.Iowans must weigh in by March 31 regarding the IUB’s compliance. The IUB will review those comments during its oral argument about the location. 

Under Iowa Code, IUB must hold the hearing “in the county seat of the county located at the midpoint of the proposed pipeline.” The IUB announced Friday that it interprets the statute to require that the hearing be held at a location that provides all landowners an approximate equal opportunity to attend the hearing.”

The IUB has estimated that midpoint after estimating travel time from five endpoints of the pipeline, which are in Lyon, Woodbury, Fremont, Chickasaw and Dickinson counties. While there is also an endpoint in Emmet County, the IUB decided to not include that endpoint in estimating distances because of its closeness to the endpoint in Dickinson County.

Summit Carbon filed its petition Jan. 28 to construct, operate and maintain the pipeline to transport the liquefied carbon dioxide in Iowa. IUB staff are reviewing Summit Carbon’s petition to determine whether more information or corrections are legally necessary for its completion.

“Following a determination that the petition is substantially complete, the IUB will issue a subsequent order that establishes a procedural schedule, sets an intervention date, sets dates for Summit Carbon and other parties to file prepared testimony and exhibits, and sets the hearing date and location,” the release said.

Iowa legislators are considering an amendment to SF 2022 to prevent the IUB from giving a pipeline company an eminent domain right before March 2023.

Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit told The Center Square in an emailed statement Monday that IUB needs to listen to Iowans who are opposed to the pipeline and stop the project.

“It should be obvious at this point that Iowans don’t want a hazardous carbon pipeline running through our state,” she said. “Whether the public forum to debate this project is in Sioux City or Mason City, the broad alliance of Iowans opposed to these reckless pipelines will continue to make our voices heard. These carbon pipelines are a fool’s errand – unwanted and unnecessary.”