WINNEBAGO, Neb. – The Winnebago Tribal Council unanimously approved a resolution this spring calling for an environmental impact study to be conducted on the Summit Carbon Pipeline Project and the Navigator Heartland Greenway Carbon Pipeline Project, which would pass near tribal lands.
The Tribal Council has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, Dakota County Commissioners, and Iowa Utility Board to require a study be completed before issuing any permits for the carbon pipeline, a the tribe said in a press release. Tuesday.
The Council asks each entity to provide a written response to the tribe. The resolution was passed in March and letters were sent about two months later; the tribe is currently awaiting a response, a spokesperson for the tribe said Tuesday.
“The Winnebago Tribe has always opposed the issuance of pipeline permits that could adversely impact our lands or waters…An Environmental Impact Statement would describe the effects of proposed pipelines on the environment and should provide sufficient information to assess the relative merits of the proposed pipelines and alternatives. Permitting agencies cannot make reasoned or informed decisions without this information. Neither can the general public,” the Tribal Council said in the resolution.
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The proposed Summit Carbon Pipeline would route carbon dioxide from ethanol and fertilizer plants to an underground sequestration site in North Dakota, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere where it would contribute to global warming. by forcing it underground. The pipeline would cross 30 counties in Iowa, including several in northwestern Iowa – Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux, Lyon, O’Brien, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Ida and Crawford, and extend into the Dakota, Dixon and Wayne counties in Nebraska.
The Winnebago Indian Reservation lies primarily in Thurston County, but portions of the reservation extend into Dixon and Woodbury counties. The Tribal Council’s press release noted that pipeline construction would take place north of the reservation, “but would cross the Missouri River, where the tribe is downstream,” Winnebago Tribal Secretary Lorelei DeCora said in a statement. communicated.
The tribe is further concerned that the construction routes are on ancestral tribal lands and the possibility that the pipelines could disturb the burial grounds, as well as the possibility that, if built, the pipelines may break down and endanger the health of the tribe.
“There are simply too many unknowns for these pipelines, which is why it is important that this study be conducted. It is our duty to protect Mother Earth,” DeCora’s statement added.
Ames, Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions, the company behind the pipeline, sought to use eminent domain to get the pipeline built. Various Iowa farmers, groups, and lawmakers have expressed concerns about the project, and the possible use of eminent domain has proven particularly contentious.
“The Winnebago Tribe stands in solidarity with area farmers who oppose these pipelines and the use of eminent domain to gain access to land without owner consent. Everyone’s health, well-being and rights are important to all of us,” Winnebago Tribe President Victoria Kitcheyan said in a statement.
Summit claims its carbon pipeline would prevent 12 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
The Heartland Greenway Pipeline, proposed by Dallas-based Navigator CO2 Ventures, would also traverse northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska, as well as parts of South Dakota and Illinois, as well as a rather small stage in southern Minnesota. Like the Summit Pipeline, it would transport captured carbon dioxide to be sequestered underground in Illinois. Navigator CO2 Ventures says the project, once online, would sequester 15 million metric tons of CO2 every year.
Carbon sequestration projects, such as these, have been proposed as a means of slowing climate change, as carbon dioxide generated by industrial processes is thought to pose little risk of warming the planet if pumped under earth.