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Navigator pulls pipeline application in Illinois after rejection in South Dakota

By: - October 10, 2023 1:24 pm
The route of the proposed Heartland Greenway pipeline. (Courtesy of Navigator CO2)

The route of the proposed Heartland Greenway pipeline. (Courtesy of Navigator CO2)

Navigator CO2 on Tuesday moved to withdraw its carbon dioxide pipeline permit application in Illinois, effectively halting its project.

The motion comes about a week before the Illinois Commerce Commission was set to hold an evidentiary hearing for the application.

The company’s proposed 1,350-mile pipeline system suffered a setback in South Dakota in September when state regulators denied Navigator a construction permit.

Later that month, the company asked to suspend its permit process in Iowa. At the time, Navigator indicated it would wait for a ruling on its permit in Illinois, which was expected by the end of February 2024.

But the company now says it is “taking time to reassess the route and application.”

“Navigator will withdraw its current application with the intent to reinitiate Illinois permitting, if appropriate, when Navigator’s full evaluation is complete,” the company said in a prepared statement.

A company spokesperson declined to comment further. Navigator had previously withdrawn its first application in Illinois and reapplied because of a route adjustment.

Navigator proposes to transport captured carbon dioxide from ethanol plants and other facilities in five states to Illinois for underground sequestration and other commercial uses. Most of those sites are in Iowa.

Opponents of the project say it poses a safety risk to residents and livestock, it would irreparably damage farmland, and that the use of eminent domain to build it is improper because it doesn’t serve the public.

The proposal is one of two in South Dakota. Summit Carbon Solutions was also denied a permit recently but has said it will reapply. North Dakota utility regulators denied Summit a permit but have agreed to reconsider the application. Meanwhile, Summit is near the end of its permit process with the Iowa Utilities Board. An evidentiary hearing is pending and expected to resume in November. The company hopes to have a decision on its Iowa permit by the end of the year.

— The staff of South Dakota Searchlight contributed to this report.

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Jared Strong is the senior reporter for the Iowa Capital Dispatch. He has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.