Heartland Greenway has voluntarily withdrawn its application for a certificate
of authority to build a 250-mile portion of its CO2 pipeline through
a part of western Illinois, but the company said it plans to refile soon.
reason given by the company, and somehow hailed as a major victory by those
opposing the project, was that all the easements for a related proposed
sequestration site had not been obtained yet, making the paperwork for the
thing happen, of course, and are routinely rectified, but what seems strange to
me (although by now, maybe it shouldn’t) is that anyone this intent on
protecting the environment would take such a position regarding a CO2
sequestration project in the first place.
of CO2 is, after all, is a good thing, I would think, from
everyone’s perspective. Afterall, CO2 contributes to air pollution
and plays a substantial role in the greenhouse effect.
the case of this first phase of the project, more than 6 million metric tons of
carbon dioxide a year would be captured, transported and permanently sequestered,
according to Texas-based Navigator. A fully developed pipeline project would
eventually be able to capture 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
$3.2 billion pipeline would cross the states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota,
Nebraska and South Dakota, along a 1,300-mile route, carrying carbon dioxide
emissions from ethanol and fertilizer facilities that had been converted from
gas into dense fluid, in route to an underground site in central Illinois.
conversion process involves taking as much water as possible out of the captured CO2 gas and compressing it
so it changes to a liquid before it is moved through a network of pipeline
infrastructure to a wellhead. At that location, it is injected a mile to a mile-and-a-half
geology of the storage site will allow the liquified CO2 to
mineralize overtime and become rock, Navigator said. Emissions reduction from
the Illinois portion alone would be equivalent to taking more than 75,000
gasoline-fueled cars off the road.
suppose the argument could be made that the CO2 could just as easily
be transported by train, truck or ship, but would adding all of that traffic –
both by land and by sea – really provide a feasible, let alone safe,
alternative? The answer, obviously, common sense says is it would not.
pipelines, according to federal government data on the 5,000 miles of CO2
pipelines in operation, shows a reduced incident rate that is down 56% over the
last five years. When compared to other liquids pipelines, CO2
pipelines are the safest.
fact, the pipeline, under current PHMSA regulations – 49 CFR, Part 195, will
require literally hundreds of inspection, construction and maintenance
safeguards as is prescribed for all CO2 pipelines.
an added measure, PHMSA is currently conducting a rule-making process to
improve safety and oversight of CO2 pipelines, which it hopes to
complete by October 2024. PHMSA is not new to this type of oversight either,
having had its jurisdiction expanded to cover CO2 pipelines in 1989.
This is an area the U.S. federal government
enforces rigorously, too. Just ask a pipeline owner/operator if you need
date, Navigator said it has successfully negotiated with landowners to secure
hundreds of miles of pipeline rights-of-way easements, thousands of acres of
storage space, and the necessary well-sites to accommodate the initial
its motion to withdraw the permit, Navigator said a new permit would allow it
to accelerate the development of additional permanent storage locations across other
counties in central Illinois.
continues to be a growing and diverse number of industrial emitters across the
Corn Belt recognizing the value carbon capture technology provides for their
businesses,” said Navigator CEO Matt Vining. “With the increasing number of
shippers participating in the Heartland Greenway and landowners’ collaborative
and responsive feedback, refiling allows us to streamline the application
process in Illinois for all parties.”
which specializes in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and has
constructed and operated over 1,300 miles of new infrastructure since 2012,
said construction of the project could begin as early as 2024, with service
beginning in 2025. P&GJ