DES MOINES — A federal judge has permanently blocked two Iowa counties from enforcing ordinances that would have set restrictions for carbon pipelines.
The ordinances in Shelby and Story Counties set zones around homes, schools and city limits through which pipelines were not to pass. The counties also sought to force Summit Carbon Solutions to provide county-specific emergency plans for pipeline ruptures. The Iowa Capital Dispatch was first to report that the judge ruled the restrictions would have imposed severe limitations, leading to a situation where the Iowa Utilities Board could grant a construction permit for the pipeline, but Summit would be unable to build it.
The same judge issued a temporary injunction this summer against Shelby County’s ordinance. Shelby County Supervisor Kevin Kinkel said at the time it was “disappointing” that “other levels of government aren’t supporting counties” in their efforts to protect residents.
Emmet County Supervisors passed zoning restrictions for pipelines that transport hazaroud liquids in early March and Summit Carbon Solutions sued later that month, but that lawsuit has not been resolved. Bremer County also has a zoning ordinance related to carbon pipelines and Navigator CO2 sued this spring, but the company has dropped the lawsuit after cancelling its pipeline project.