CO2 Pipeline Eminent Domain Reform

New Protection From Eminent Domain

Update: The legislature did not pass this bill.

A bill, HF 2664, that passed in the Iowa House would establish a new procedure to protect landowners from eminent domain for projects under the jurisdiction of the Iowa Utilities Board.  This new procedure would allow a landowner to seek a declaratory order from court even before the Utilities Board has made a decision whether to permit the proposed project.  The bill offers landowners relief from years of stress related to the threat of eminent domain by creating a process for landowners to know up-front if they will be subjected to eminent domain.  It provides certainty so that they can carry on with their lives as the permitting process also carries on.

Under current procedure a utility or private developer makes an application to the Board to permit a project (e.g., a carbon dioxide pipeline) and requests the right to take property for the project by eminent domain.  But a decision on whether eminent domain will be granted is made by the Board only after the decision on the permit is issued.  A landowner is under the stress of uncertainty about eminent domain until the process is complete. 

The new procedure established by HF2664 would allow a landowner to obtain a decision by a neutral court up front as to whether eminent domain would be granted.

HF2664 also balances the appeal process for the IUB's final decision. Currently, when appealing an eminent domain ruling, Iowa law requires a party to file a bond if they want to pause construction until the court issues a decision. This bond can be upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars, effectively prohibiting a meaningful appeal.  HF2664 removes the bond requirement to pause construction during appeals of IUB's final order.

What you can do

  1. Ask members of the senate Ways and Means committee to support HF2664.  Their emails are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  2. Ask your State Senator to support HF2664.
To look up your senate member, see
To find your legislators, see
Carbon dioxide pipeline activists at the Iowa Capitol