Supervisors Approve First Reading of Zoning Amendment for Hazardous Liquid Pipelines

by Brian Wilson
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–The Kossuth County Board of Supervisors approved the first reading of an amendment to the county’s zoning ordinance that addresses land use for hazardous liquid pipelines during their meeting Tuesday morning. The board held a public hearing prior to the vote, where they heard from over two dozen concerned citizens who support the amendment, which would implement setback distances for things like carbon sequestration pipelines. Summit Carbon Solutions Project Manager Grant Terry was the first to speak during the public hearing.

Summit’s pipeline would run through Kossuth County from east to west, some 4-5 miles south of Algona. Former Kossuth County Supervisor Galen Casey addressed the current board, as he lives and works near the proposed route.

Many expressed concerns over the safety for people and animals near the proposed pipeline route in case of a rupture. Sandra Laubenthal addressed the board, and reminded them that Summit has not been completely transparent with regards to safety issues.

Summit has refused requests from the board and area residents to release a plume study, that would show where the liquified Carbon Dioxide might travel in the event of a pipeline rupture, on multiple occasions. Wade Eisenbarth spoke to the board and asked them to make Summit to provide the same information many local businesses are required to have on file.

Supervisor Carter Nath directly asked the Summit representatives in attendance if they would now be willing to turn over the results of a plume study, as that request was refused again. The board voted 5-0 to approve the first reading of the zoning amendment. The supervisors mentioned discussing the 2nd reading of the amended ordinance at their meeting next Tuesday, but an agenda released Wednesday afternoon now shows the board will meet Monday at 1 PM in closed session to have discussion with their pipeline attorney Timothy Whipple.

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