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McDonough County board committee reiterates pipeline opposition

Rich Egger

Navigator CO2 Ventures filed a new application with the Illinois Commerce Commission late last month. But the company’s revised plan has not won any new fans in McDonough County.

Members of the county board’s Law and Legal Committee are recommending the county intervene in the case, just as it did with Navigator’s earlier application.

The full county board could consider the recommendation next week.

Farmer Steve Hess thanked the committee for sticking with its opposition to the project.

“The citizens have spoken. The farmers in this county, the landowners, the people that live close to where the pipeline path is – they don’t want a CO2 pipeline,” said Hess, who has been a vocal critic of the project.

“We could make arguments about whether it’s good or bad science. But there are other ways to sequester carbon rather than putting it in a pipeline.”

Hess is a member of the group Citizens Against the Heartland Greenway Pipeline. He said they’re working to spread their message to residents in all 14 counties in Illinois in the proposed path of the pipeline.

Hess said he is concerned about safety issues and the potential damage to his property. He also said the battle is about land rights.

“I don’t feel like it’s right for a private company to be given eminent domain rights to come in and take property to benefit big corporations and individuals,” he said.

Navigator’s plan is to transport liquified CO2 from biofuel plants.

The pipeline would run through five states to underground storage sites 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.