At Tuesday’s regular meeting, Cottonwood County Commissioners heard a proposal to construct roughly 25 miles of pipeline through the heart of Cottonwood County.
The proposal from Summit Carbon Solutions would be part of a pipeline chain that would pump liquid carbon dioxide from various ethanol plants in the region to a storage facility near Bismarck, N.D.
Ruth Ann Phillips from Summit stated the company had signed agreements with 31 ethanol plants, including Highwater Ethanol in Lamberton and Heron Lake BioEnergy. The pipeline through the county would essentially connect the two plants, with the pipeline running roughly a mile east of County Road 5. The pipe would then flow south into Iowa, west into South Dakota and north to the storage facility.
Phillips stated there could potentially be 17,000 jobs created during the construction of the pipeline, including 1,200 in Minnesota, and that Summit was planning a capital investment of $4.5 billion. The goal is to complete the project by 2024.
Commissioners had questions about the safety of the pipeline and the environmental impact in the event of a rupture. Phillips stated there has not been a rupture over the past 20 years and environmental impact of the pipeline would be minimal.
However, there was concern among the board that the proposed pipeline path would run through Pat’s Grove Park, and also would have to cross the Des Moines River, Dutch Charley Creek and Highwater Creek, which could lead to the need to apply for conditional use permitting.
No decision was made.