Utilities Board sets public meetings for Wolf Carbon CO2 pipeline proposal

350-mile liquid CO2 pipeline would connect to ADM plants and run through five Iowa counties, including Linn and Johnson

Wolf Carbon pipeline route
A map showing the proposed route for Wolf Carbon Solution's 350-mile liquefied carbon dioxide pipeline project through Eastern Iowa. CREDIT IOWA UTILITIES BOARD

The Iowa Utilities Board has approved a series of six public informational meetings requested by Wolf Carbon Solutions, which has proposed a 350-mile pipeline to transport liquefied carbon dioxide from a pair of Eastern Iowa ADM plants to an underground sequestration facility in Illinois.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Johnson County: Monday, Aug. 29, noon, North Liberty Community Center, 520 Cherry St.
  • Cedar County: Monday, Aug. 29, 6 p.m., Tipton High School Auditorium, 400 E. Sixth St.
  • Linn County: Tuesday, Aug. 30, noon, Veterans Memorial Building, 50 Second Ave. Bridge, Cedar Rapids
  • Clinton County: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 6 p.m., Wild Rose Convention Center, 777 Wild Rose Drive, Clinton
  • Scott County: Wednesday, Aug. 31, noon, RiverCenter (Adler Theater), 136 E. Third St., Davenport
  • Virtual meeting: Monday, Sept. 19, 6 p.m., participation through the IUB Webex system

The schedule is slightly accelerated from Wolf’s original request – the company had sought public meetings from Sept. 13-15.

A docket for the CO2 pipeline proposal from Denver, Colorado-based Wolf Carbon Solutions has been filed with the Iowa Utilities Board, detailing a proposed pipeline route that would connect ADM plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton to a terminus near Decatur, Illinois, where the liquefied gas would be sequestered underground.

The pipeline, first proposed in March, would run through the southern portion of Linn County and a small portion of northern Johnson County southeastward through Cedar, Clinton and Scott counties in Iowa, then further eastward to the sequestration site.

The project comprises the third CO2 pipeline proposal in Iowa, joining proposals by Navigator, which wants to build a 1,300-mile pipeline that would run through portions of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, and Summit Carbon Solutions, which has proposed a 2,000-mile pipeline that would span counties in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The Navigator project was originally slated to run through several Eastern Iowa counties, but was re-routed after ADM chose to collaborate with Wolf on a carbon pipeline project.

The projects are touted as an environmentally-friendly solution to deal with carbon dioxide emissions from large-scale industrial facilities, but critics question the environmental claims.

In the case of this project, ADM says the pipeline would have the capacity to transport 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year from the plants, which would be permanently stored underground at ADM’s existing carbon sequestration site in Decatur, Illinois.The company says the planned pipeline would have significant spare capacity to serve customers looking to decarbonize across the Midwest and Ohio River Valley.

ADM says its carbon capture and sequestration capabilities in Decatur have allowed it to safely and permanently store underground more than 3.5 million metric tons of CO2, paving the way for increased decarbonization of the company’s operations.

A number of objections to the plan have already been filed in the project’s official IUB docket. One filing includes objections from several Sierra Club members, requesting that an environmental impact study be conducted to “understand the cumulative effects the proposed carbon dioxide pipeline projects have on Iowa’s environment” and expressing support for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s request for a similar study.