Supervisor wants input on utility zoning, ordinance

Ordinance would give county more leverage with utility, pipeline companies


LEE COUNTY - A Lee County Supervisor wants input from the county around an ordinance governing future utility installments.

Supervisor Garry Seyb said he would be interested in hearing how county residents feel about the possibility of drafting an ordinance to not only look at future and current pipeline plans, but also wind and solar projects as well.

"I'd like feedback from the community and what they understand about this," Seyb said Thursday.

Seyb said he's hearing from many residents that the county should try and stop the the proposed Navigator Heartland Greenway pipeline from being built in the  county.

But Seyb said he's also heard that Nu-Star, which is proposing another anhydrous ammonia pipeline through the county, has already acquired close to 90% of right of way compliance.

In contrast he's heard of zero compliance with the CO2 pipeline proposed by Navigator.

The Navigator Heartland Greenway CO2 pipeline is being proposed to run diagonally 810 miles from the northwest part of the state through Lee County, including more than 50 miles of pipeline buried in Lee County. The entire pipeline would run approximately 1,300 miles through five states.

Heartland Greenway has said the pipeline has the capability of capturing and storing up to 15 million metric tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to about 3.2 million vehicles annually.

The pipeline would range in width from 6 to 24 inches in diameter and would run with a potential 2,200 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure.

But Seyb said he's concerned that the county has few options to legally stand up to the pipeline company, or future utility companies, because there are no ordinances in place.

"Right now the only thing we have is a letter of opposition that we can send to the Iowa Utilities Board - and we've done that," Seyb said.

He said if residents don't want an ordinance then that feedback is welcomed as well.

"When people come to me, and they have, and say you gotta stop this pipeline. The only thing I can tell them is that I've done all I can," he said.

"We've sent a letter in opposition to that pipeline. That's it, the beginning and the end. If you want us to do more I'm willing to do the work to see what we can do to effect a utility ordinance or zoning. But if there's a pushback and they don't want zoning, then I get it."

Seyb said there are other utiliites out there sniffing around and he said he learned at Iowa State Association of Counties meetings last week that those counties that don't have ordinances are the ones utilities target because they only have to deal with the landowners.

"They deal with the landowners and don't have to go through the county. There's no rules or regulations. If citizens want us to do that, that's what we need to look at doing," he said.

"But if they're okay with a neighbor putting up a windmill or a solar farm so be it. The ordinance would create requirement for utility to come to the county. Right now they just have to deal with the landowners."

Garry Seyb, Fort Madison, Lee County, utilities, Navigator Heartland Greenway, NuStar, pipeline, projects, Pen City Current, news


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