BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – County officials heard Monday that yet another pipeline could be traversing the county in the next few years.
County Engineer Ben Hull told Lee County Supervisors during the board’s regular meeting on Monday that a carbon capture pipeline is scheduled to go through Lee County, but no additional details were provided.
The news comes just weeks after a public meeting was held in West Point regarding an anhydrous ammonia pipeline extension that would run around Fort Madison and hook up with Iowa Fertilizer Co.
NuStar Pipeline Operations Partnership L.P. is proposing to build that 6″ line over about 14 miles in Lee County.
The newest information is that a company called Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC, or “Navigator” will be building a pipeline called the Heartland Greenway and has received preliminary board approvals to proceed with the project.
However, the company is now currently going through the proper Iowa Utilities Board protocols and will be holding a meeting on Dec. 8, 2021 at 6 p.m. at Small Grand Things south of West Point, the same location as the NuStar hearing on Oct. 6.
According to an Oct. 14 story in PRNewsWire, Navigator is evaluating multiple opportunities to expand the Heartland Greenway’s available capacity and add service offerings for the benefit of its current and future customers. Navigator has commenced the process to obtain all the necessary permits to construct the Heartland Greenway line with initial system commissioning during late 2024 and into early 2025.
According to IUB officials, that board received a request on Oct. 19 to hold 37 public informational meetings to discuss the Navigator proposal. The request indicated the pipeline will extend across five states in the Midwest including Iowa.
There is also a meeting planned for Des Moines County at noon at LOFT Events, 416 Jefferson in Burlington, in Van Buren County on Dec. 9 at the Bonaparte Opera House, 614 First Street, and in Jefferson County at the Walton Club in Fairfield, 2265 Walton Lake Road.
The PRNewswire article said Navigator’s current and future customers for the system include many rural value-added ag processors from the ethanol and fertilizer industries and has a multi-year commercial partnership with Valero Energy Corporation as the anchor customer of the system.
County Engineer Ben Hull was notified Monday morning that the informational meetings were being scheduled in Lee County.
“This will be another hazardous liquid high pressure pipeline,” Hull said.
He said a company called ISG, a pipeline inspection company is interested in coming to a future board meeting to offer inspection services for the county on both the Navigator and NuStar pipeline projects.
The pipeline companies pay for the inspection services, who monitor the pipeline’s impact on county property and private residents’ property in the county.
“Of course we’re not going to be footing the bill for this anyway, but we want to make sure we have the right person in place. The last go round we were very happy with them.”
Hull said this pipeline really seems to be moving forward. He said the political nature could be volatile as the Sierra Club is highly against the project and is speaking out against it.
“That brings to mind some of the stuff that happened during the Dakota Access that could play in more again,” Hull said.
Hull said from maps he’s seen it appears to be being built in conjunction with the Iowa Fertilizer plant, but he hasn’t been told that by anyone.