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The Linn County Board of Supervisors is submitting a formal letter to the Iowa Utilities Board opposing the proposed construction of a carbon capture pipeline that would run through the southern portion of the county. The letter, dated Jan. 11, was approved unanimously as part of the consent agenda for the board’s regular meeting Jan. 11. The move comes as Wolf Carbon Solutions prepares to submit a formal application to the IUB for a liquid carbon dioxide capture pipeline that would connect ADM plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton to a sequestration facility in Illinois. Wolf Carbon is proposing a 280-mile liquid CO2 pipeline that would run through several Eastern Iowa counties, including the southeast portion of Linn County. Under the proposal, Wolf would build a carbon sequestration pipeline between Cedar Rapids and Decatur, Illinois. The pipeline, referred to as the Mt. Simon Hub, would transport liquefied CO2 through a pressurized 16-inch pipeline from ADM plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton to an ADM sequestration facility near Decatur, Illinois, where the gas would be pumped underground at the Mt. Simon Sandstone saline reservoir for permanent storage. The supervisors’ letter focuses on three key issues: the possible use of eminent domain to acquire land for pipeline construction, long-term property value loss, and “significant risk to the health and safety of the public that the proposed pipeline is purported to benefit.” While Wolf Carbon officials have maintained they don’t plan to seek eminent domain measures as part of their project, the supervisors’ letter explicitly opposes the possibility of eminent domain. We acknowledge that the use of eminent domain may be suitable for specific, individual public use, public purpose, or public improvement projects,” the letter states. “However, we also believe that the authority to take private property for a public use must be limited to projects that serve the entire public and that the unrestrained, unjustified, or improper use of eminent domain undermines private property rights by forcing landowners to grant easements unwillingly. We object strenuously to the use of eminent domain for the proposed Wolf carbon capture pipeline system and urge you to deny its use if Wolf files a request to do so.” The letter also notes concerns about “the long-term loss to the economic value of agricultural property used by a hazardous liquid pipeline caused by factors including the improper restoration of land and drainage systems” after pipeline construction. “Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have deep concerns about the significant risk to the health and safety of the public that the proposed pipeline is purported to benefit,” the letter adds. “Although we value ADM’s important role in the local and regional economy, regarding Wolf’s pipeline proposal we believe that the financial and human cost of the health and safety risks to landowners and neighboring residents, schools, and other places of public assembly outweighs the benefit of potential job creation and economic growth.” Public reaction to the proposal has largely been negative, as demonstrated by comments during a public meeting at the Hawkeye Downs Expo Center in December and by comments filed to the project’s official docket with the Iowa Utilities Board. Wolf Carbon officials have said they plan to formally submit the project to the IUB for consideration this year, perhaps as soon as late January.