Supervisors remind pipeline company and landowners zoning ordinance will be enforced
SHELBY COUNTY — The Shelby County Board of Supervisors were given updates regarding the proposed carbon capture pipeline at its board meeting Tuesday, February 7.
Grant Terry, Isaac Risseeuw, Kaylee Langrell, and Riley Gibson, representing Summit Carbon Solutions, were in attendance.
Langrell distributed a handout to the Board stating pipeline safety facts, which included:
·The transportation of hazardous liquid via the pipeline will be regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
·Summit will use low alloy-high strength carbon steel to construct the pipeline.
·Public awareness of the project has begun, as the company has met with policy makers, economic development leaders, and members of the public.
·There will be 24” of clearance between the extremity of any other underground structure.
·Summit Carbon Solutions’ standard practice will be to use aerial imagery taken by plane at least every two weeks to visually inspect right-of-way conditions.
·The company will perform pipeline integrity evaluations periodically within five-year periods.
·There will be no more than 20 miles between transmission line block valves, resulting in no point on the pipe being farther than 10 miles from a valve.
Langrell also provided a map of underground pipelines in Houston, TX to show how communities can still expand once pipelines are put in. “Houston is a great example of how pipelines do not deter growth, they actually do the opposite,” Langrell said.
“I think it speaks to the safety and how the regulations are working, because with that many pipelines in the ground, if our regulations were not working we would be hearing about it.”
Board Chairman Steve Kenkel questioned how many carbon capture pipelines were currently in Houston.
“I don’t think Houston has any CO2 lines,” Langrell said.
“It doesn’t even fall under the same definition as hazardous pipelines. Houston, Texas also doesn’t have any zoning ordinances,” Kenkel said.
Langrell stated construction is still planned to begin this summer, pending IEB permits. “We will not start construction until we have IEB permits and our county permits.” She said currently, 54% of the needed land in Shelby County has been acquired and 66% statewide.
Board members asked the representatives about maintaining existing tile lines and wells and were told any repairs caused by construction will be the responsibility of Summit Carbon Solutions.
Chairman Kenkel questioned the pipeline company’s transparency regarding both safety issues and the impact on community growth and economic development.
“If an 8” CO2 line like the one that proposed to go through Shelby County were to rupture, what is the size of the area of the blast zone?”
Senior project manager Grant Terry stated there were too many variables to provide an answer. “I can’t give you an accurate number,” Terry said. “We are in the process of conducting those studies.”
Kenkel asked how the Board makes decisions as community leaders if they don’t know the possible damage the pipeline could cause.
“You say there’s transparency,” Kenkel said, “Then we need to have that data. How do we protect our citizens?”
He was told the data will be provided after the emergency response training takes place, which will be sometime after construction on the pipeline begins.
Kenkel read the role of a supervisor from the Supervisor Handbook, which states “The County Supervisor’s duty is to protect and preserve the rights, the privileges, the property of the County and or it’s residents and to preserve and improve the peace, the safety, the health, the welfare, the comfort, and convenience of it’s residents.”
“Our Board takes that really seriously,” Kenkel said.
“We can’t do our job if we don’t have the proper information and we are doing our due diligence asking for it. It’s a hazardous pipeline. It wouldn’t be called hazardous if it wasn’t hazardous. So we are asking you to be transparent and get us that information so we know what we are dealing with.”
Terry reiterated the information would be provided during the educational training that will take place during construction.
Kenkel then asked the representatives if they were aware of the county’s hazardous pipeline ordinance that went into effect November 11, and explained both Summit and landowners needed to apply for a Conditional Use Permit with the county before signing easements.
“Have you been doing that?”
“I am not going to speak to ongoing issues associated with your ordinance,” Terry said. “That’s not my place.”
Terry further stated he had not been involved with any negotiations with Shelby County landowners.
Tony Buman, Shelby County Planning and Zoning Administor reported five Shelby County landowners have signed easement agreements since the ordinance went into effect. No Conditional Use Permits have been filed, and Buman said daily penalties may be enforced upon the county’s discretion.
He also stated Summit was also notified of every parcel and property that was in violation, and as of January 27 they have incurred up to $50,000 in fines. Summit Carbon Solutions was sent a cease and desist letter asking them to stop recording easements without getting necessary permits.
Buman said all Shelby County landowners on the proposed pipeline route were sent a reminder and a copy of conditional use permit.
“Everyone has been put on notice, this is the law. It’s been put in effect and you need to abide by the law,” Kenkel said.
“You have really put the landowners in a bad predicament.”
The lawsuit filed by Summit Carbon Solutions against Shelby County regarding the pipeline zoning ordinance is scheduled for bench trial January 16 and January 17, 2024 at the Federal District Court in Council Bluffs.