Planning and Zoning Commission Holds Public Hearing on Pipeline Ordinance

by Brian Wilson
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–The Kossuth County Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing Monday night to take comments on a proposed amendment to the county’s zoning ordinance to include regulations regarding hazardous liquid pipelines. Three companies are trying to construct underground pipelines in Iowa to take Carbon Dioxide from ethanol plants and transport it to underground storage locations out of state. Two of those proposed pipelines would travel through Kossuth County if constructed. Tim Whipple is an attorney who has been hired by the county to help draft the amended zoning ordinance, and he addressed the board and those in attendance Monday night. 

Whipple says while drafting the amendment, it is important to remember what the county can and can’t regulate at this point. 


Multiple area residents voiced concerns with regards to the pipeline projects, with many concerned about the proposed set back distances that the pipeline would need follow. The proposed amendment would keep the pipelines 2.5 miles from any city limits in the county, half a mile from a church, school, long-term care facility or hospital, as well as half a mile from any occupied structure or public park. Whipple was asked how far those distances could possibly be extended. 


Whipple says if those distances are extended, the county will need to show the reason behind the decision. 


Representatives from Navigator LLC and Summit Carbon Solutions also spoke during the public hearing, discussing the positive aspects of the pipelines. The commission did not take any action Monday night, and will receive more input from the County Zoning Administrator Doug Miller and Mr. Whipple before making a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. 

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