No action taken in proposed McDonough County, CO2 pipeline agreement

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 9:38 PM CST
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MACOMB (WGEM) - For more than a year, a company called Navigator has attempted to begin the process of constructing a CO2 pipeline that would pass through 10 counties in Southeast Iowa and West Central Illinois.

In October, the McDonough County Board approved a two-year moratorium that put Navigator’s plans to a halt. Then, voluntarily in January, the pipeline company withdrew its application for construction.

However, now the company has proposed a Carbon Pipeline Project Development Agreement.

The agreement states that Navigator would pay McDonough County $20,000 per mile of constructed pipeline for 30 years, but not to exceed a total of $630,000 per year.

That could amount to $18.9 million.

The agreement also says the county shall cooperate with the developer [Navigator Heartland-Greenway LLC] on a good-faith basis and provide positive assistance as necessary during the pre-construction, construction and operational phases of the pipeline.

The agreement was up for discussion in Monday night’s Law and Legal Committee meeting but no action was taken.

”Our states attorney [Matt Kwacala] had advised us that due to the current legal case with the Illinois Commerce Commission that’s not been closed yet, he was not recommending us to take action tonight,” Law and Legal Committee Chairman Joe Erlandson said.

Where does the discussion and that agreement go from here?

“All the board members have [the agreement] so they can be evaluating it,” Erlandson said. “We’re kind of on hold until that legal action has ended.”

$630,000 a year for 30 years, that must be tempting.

“Anybody would like $18 million but you have to balance that against what it’s going to cost the county, what the county will be required to do and so forth,” Erlandson said.

The committee heard from numerous area residents and laborers who stand on both sides of the argument.

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