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McDonough County Board approves pipeline moratorium

Anti-pipeline signs.jpg
Rich Egger

The McDonough County Board is trying to put the brakes on a proposed CO2 pipeline that would run through parts of the county. The board this week unanimously approved a two-year moratorium for CO2 pipelines in the county.

Board Chair Scott Schwerer said the county wants to give the federal government time to potentially upgrade safety guidelines for such projects.

“The safety of our residents of McDonough County is very important and that’s paramount in my mind,” Schwerer said.

“If there is a pipeline, we want it to be the safest pipeline there can be.”

At past meetings, the board has heard from project opponents. This time, it heard from supporters.

One of them, local resident Lee Trotter, said the pipeline will bring good paying jobs to the area.

“I don’t like the fact that a moratorium of two years has been set for these people to know what jobs they may have in the future. It’s hard to plan what you’re going to be doing if you don’t know where or when you’re going to be working,” he said.

Trotter called the board’s vote a stalling tactic.

The board also heard from Danielle Anderson, Public Affairs Manager for Navigator CO2, the company that plans to build the pipeline.

Anderson said the pipeline will meet or exceed all safety guidelines. She also said all affected landowners in the county should hear from the company by the end of the month.

Navigator CO2 wants to build the pipeline through five states. It would capture carbon dioxide from biofuel plants, liquify it, and pump it through underground pipes to a deep storage site in central Illinois.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.