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Pipeline company prevails over Story, Shelby county ordinances
Pipeline company prevails over Story, Shelby county ordinances

A federal judge on Monday permanently barred two Iowa counties from enforcing their ordinances that restrict the placement of carbon dioxide pipelines.

Story and Shelby counties adopted restrictions after two companies proposed to build pipeline systems to transport captured carbon dioxide from ethanol plants and other facilities.

The ordinances set minimum distances to locate the pipelines away from cities, homes, schools, and other sites. They also have some requirements that pertain to emergency response plans in case of a pipeline breach.

Summit Carbon Solutions, which hopes to build a five-state pipeline system to transport the greenhouse gas to North Dakota for underground sequestration, sued the counties and argued that they lack the authority to impose the restrictions.

The company said the federal government is charged with regulating the pipelines’ safety and that the Iowa Utilities Board has authority over their placement.

Chief Judge Stephanie Rose of the federal Southern District of Iowa agreed. Rose granted Summit summary judgments in both lawsuits and issued permanent injunctions to block the counties from enforcing the ordinances.


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