Congratulations All Who Worked So Very Hard on this Issue!
By Joyce Blumenshine
Ten days after Navigator CO2 Ventures, LLC, withdrew from its application to the Illinois Commerce Commission for a permit to build and operate a CO2 pipeline in Illinois, the company announced it was withdrawing plans for its entire multi-state CO2 project.
The Navigator Heartland Greenway intended to cross five Midwestern states and run 1,300 miles, bringing liquified CO2 from Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and an Illinois location to sequestration areas in Christian and Montgomery Counties, Illinois. The sequestration would be by high-pressure deep well injection of the CO2 into the Mt. Simon Sandstone layers thousands of feet underground.
The company’s public statement contained the comment that the, “unpredictable nature of the regulatory and government processes particularly in South Dakota and Iowa,” were a key part of their decision to cancel the project. South Dakota denied the Navigator application on September 6th, and the company paused the Iowa Utilities Board permitting process on September 29th. The company officially withdrew its petition in Iowa for a hazardous liquid pipeline permit on October 23rd.
On October 10, 2023, Navigator Heartland Greenway LLC, filed to withdraw its application to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for a state permit to build and operate a carbon dioxide pipeline across 292 miles in Illinois. Navigator requested the ICC, “immediately suspend the upcoming procedural schedule.” The permit withdrawal was done one week before evidentiary hearings were to begin October 17th and continue through October 20th. Evidentiary hearings are where testimony is presented by experts for the permit applicant and by those opposing the permit.
This is the second time Navigator had withdrawn a Heartland Greenway permit application at the ICC. On January 20th, 2023, Navigator withdrew its permit application which had been filed July 25, 2022. This was after six months of the eleven months allowed for the ICC permit process to reach a decision. Navigator refiled for the second time on February 23, 2023, adding in an extension of its CO2 pipeline going into Montgomery County for a proposed carbon sequestration area. The current filing to withdraw is eight months into the eleven-month permit process, meaning even more significant ICC staff time has been taken by case proceedings.
In its notice to the ICC, Navigator stated it wanted to reassess its route and other aspects of the pipeline system and its application. The document also stated that Navigator intended to reinitiate its pipeline application, if it decides that is appropriate, after the full company assessment is completed. The company announcement on October 20th essentially cancelling the entire project will hopefully mean the end of any further project by this company in Illinois.