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The Linn County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 5 postponed their first consideration of an ordinance specifying setbacks from hazardous materials pipelines. Planning and Development Zoning Division manager Stephanie Lientz requested a one-week delay on the ordinance’s consideration, noting that county supervisor Louie Zumbach was unable to attend the Dec. 5 meeting. “We put it on the calendar and published notification to The Gazette before we realized that we weren’t going to have full board participation today,” Ms. Lientz told Stacey Walker and Ben Rogers, the two supervisors in attendance at Monday’s work session. A public hearing on the proposed setback ordinance was still held Dec. 5. Ely city administrator Adam Thompson spoke briefly, noting that a liquid carbon dioxide pipeline proposed by Wolf Carbon Solutions would run “very close” to the city of Ely and noting that the city is interested in working with the county and Wolf Carbon officials to address any potential concerns. The first formal reading of the ordinance will now be held Dec. 12, the board decided. The proposed ordinance was approved by the county’s planning and zoning commission in their meeting Monday night, Nov. 21. Linn County Planning and Zoning director Charlie Nichols said the ordinance specifically addresses safety setbacks from hazardous materials pipelines, since unlike pipelines carrying natural gas – which are regulated by the Iowa Utilities Board – hazardous materials pipelines are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). That agency, Mr. Nichols said, governs construction of hazardous material pipelines but hasn’t yet issued guidelines for oversight of safety issues. “What we are attempting to do here is reduce the risk of damage and injury to Linn County’s public through regulations to supplement the Iowa Utilities Board’s permitting process, in the absence of updated guidance from PHMSA,” Mr. Nichols said. There are three companies proposing liquid carbon dioxide sequestration pipelines in Iowa, Mr. Nichols said. One of those companies, Wolf Carbon Solutions, is proposing a 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 280-mile carbon dioxide 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 county’s ordinance proposed two setback standards. One standard, which would apply to places of public assembly such as hospitals, schools, detention centers, parks and playgrounds, would mandate a setback of 155.8 feet times times the pipeline’s diameter, or just under 2,500 feet for a 16-inch pipeline. A second standard for dwellings would mandate a setback of 107.65 feet times the diameter of the pipeline plus 328.08 feet, or approximately 2,050 feet for a 16-inch pipeline. A separate setback standard is also proposed for future growth areas of Linn County, Mr. Nichols said. The proposed ordinance is designed to protect Linn County residents without pre-empting the Iowa Utilities Board’s decision-making authority, Mr. Nichols said. A public informational meeting on the Wolf Carbon project is set for 5:30 p.m. today (Dec. 5) at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids.