DES MOINES — Starting today, Summit Carbon Solutions will start providing state regulators with lists of landowners along its proposed pipeline who have not agreed to voluntary easements.
Justin Kirchoff, president of Summit Ag Investors, said hundreds of people have signed contracts to let the carbon pipeline run through their property.
“We’ve got about 750 landowners that have decided to sign voluntary easements with us today, so that’s about 270 miles of pipeline easements,” Kirchoff said.
Summit submitted an application to the Iowa Utilities Board for a pipeline permit earlier this year that would stretch about 680 miles through Iowa. State regulations require disclosure of which parcels along the route are not yet secured voluntarily.
“That process will take about a month,” Kirchoff said, “and then, obviously, as we move forward and continue to sign voluntary easements which remains 100% of our focus today some of those names will come off the list.”
Kirchoff said people “understandably” have questions about carbon capture and the pipeline itself.
“I think a lot of people have scar tissue, if you will, in terms of Dakota Access. We’re going to do things a lot different,” Kirchoff said. “First and foremost, over 60% of this pipe is going to be eight inches or smaller and you compare that with Dakota Access, which is 30 inches. Just the whole process of installation is going to be a lot less invasive.”
The Dakota Access pipeline, which cuts diagonally through Iowa, was first proposed nearly a decade ago. In 2017, it began shipping crude oil from North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois.
According to Kirchoff, Summit has obtained voluntary easements from about a third of landowners in five states. The pipeline’s Iowa segment is to connect with a dozen ethanol plants in the state, to lower the carbon footprint of the fuel that’s produced.
“We’re getting closer to fall here. Every other row of corn that’s harvested is going to wind up going to an ethanol plant,” Kirchoff said. “We think its an incredibly important market and if we want to be competitive long-term we think that it certainly makes sense that we implement projects like this that make ethanol plants in the near term more profitable and in the long term more competitive in various markets.”
Several county boards of supervisors have urged state officials to reject eminent domain requests connected to carbon pipelines. The eminent domain process would let the company seize land from property owners who haven’t signed voluntary easements. Summit and two other companies have proposed building carbon pipelines through Iowa.