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Hancock County supervisors hear public concerns on proposed pipeline

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Fallout from a recent informational meeting regarding a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline was voiced during the public forum at the Oct. 4 meeting of Hancock County supervisors.

“Everybody I talk to wants to know what we can do to protect ourselves,” Bob Kern said. “I don’t think they understand our open ditches and what if we can’t run our grade at what we want on our ditches?”

County emergency response coordinator Andy Buffington noted that concerns can arise at ditch crossings, potentially causing ditch and flow issues.

Supervisor Sis Greiman, who publicly commented at the pipeline informational meeting, agreed. She noted that county lines utilize gravity for flow while pipeline flow would apparently be based solely on pressure. But it is still not clear how company officials will try to work around or go under tile areas of concern, she maintained.

“That they will try to work with us was their constant consumer line,” Greiman said. “Promising bigger, better tile replacement could cause issues for us. Then we’re going to have all this water going to the next one and you’re probably going to have blowouts.”

“I wish they would come and visit with us,” chair Gary Rayhons said. He recommended concerned landowners contact the state (utilities board) to ask questions or provide written comments/objections.

“There are lots of loose ends with this,” Kern said. “The biggest thing is how do we protect ourselves, because we don’t have the resources to fight this?

Greiman also voiced disagreement that carbon dioxide from Summit Carbon Solution’s partner ethanol plants is largely released into the atmosphere, saying they have semi-trucks that they load at least some of it onto and transport. Existing shortages of carbon dioxide used by packing plants to put down livestock as well as for things such as dry ice were also noted.

“They collect it because they sell it,” Greiman said. “No, it does not all just go into the air and cause problems. We’ll try to work with you was their answer to everything.”

Kern said he knows a Hancock County landowner who has spent lots of money on drainage and has concerns about the impacts of the proposed pipeline project.

County Engineer Jeremy Purvis said that he was unable to attend the Sept. 28 informational meeting. Supervisors said company officials maintained they would work with the county engineer.

Rayhons suggested that they be introduced to and/or meet Purvis. Supervisors did not taken any action, at this time, to obtain additional pipeline project information from state or company officials.

Rob Hillesland is community editor for the Summit-Tribune. He can be reached at 641-421-0534, or by email at


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