Supervisors continue Summit Carbon pipeline discussions

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors continues to weigh its options regarding the proposed Summit Carbon pipeline through the county.
Under discussion was the potential for state-level intervention from the Iowa Utilities Board as the IUB weighs whether to allow the carbon pipeline project to proceed.
Supervisors Charla Schmid said the supervisors had been notified that the option to pursue intervention was becoming limited. Schmid said she contacted Tim Whipple with Ahlers & Cooney, the law firm helping the county draft a pipeline ordinance, and shared Jan Norris’ concerns.
“I let him know about the information we’d received from Norris, and Whipple said we have a bit of time. There was no scheduling order as of yet from the IUB. While the letter stated the deadline to pursue intervention was Dec. 13, he didn’t feel it concerned Montgomery County, and that we did not have to meet that date,” said Schmid.
Schmid also asked Whipple what the cost to the county would be if the county were to purse intervention. Whipple said it would remain the hourly rate currently billed to the county, but more hours will be involved. Schmid said there was one other option.
“Whipple said that if we were to merge together with Shelby County, and other counties, we could share the cost of intervention together,” commented Schmid.
In regards to IUB proceedings, Whipple informed Schmid that Summit Carbon must specifically identify every parcel of land if it were to pursue eminent domain, and could not simply do a blanket request.
“Every parcel of land has to be looked at, and the IUB will look at each specific parcel of the landowner,” stated Schmid.
Also, Whipple advised Schmid that he was currently working on the carbon ordinance draft specifically for the county, and reassured Schmid that Montgomery County would not miss any dates of importance with the Iowa Utilities Board.
Also, Schmid stated that eminent domain was not under any discussion at this time, and Whipple was only advising her of the process if eminent domain were to proceed.
Supervisor Donna Robinson said she had contacted Page County Supervisor Chuck Morris, as a recent agenda noted Page County was having a session with Ahlers & Cooney. However, it was in regards to the county’s wind litigation.
“As of now, Page County has not contacted Ahlers & Cooney, and has not connected with them for that purpose as of now,” said Robinson.
No other action was taken at the meeting.

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