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UPDATED: Linn County pauses pipeline ordinance


December 14th, 2022 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The Linn County Board of Supervisors is pausing action on a pipeline regulation effort after a pipeline developer and anti-pipeline activists alike came out against it. Supervisor Louis Zumbach also voted for the delay. “Taking more time to look at this is fine with me,” Zumbach says. “It’s really surprising that the opposing sides would both like to see more time. That’s interesting to me.”

The ordinance was a response to projects like Wolf Carbon Solution’s 280-mile pipeline project. Wolf opposed the ordinance, asking the supervisors to not make quick decisions on regulations. Activists opposed to Wolf’s pipeline argued the ordinance didn’t do enough to regulate new pipelines. Supervisor Stacey Walker was the first to side with postponing action. He says the county needs to make sure it does everything it can to craft an ordinance to keep residents safe.

“If it truly is the case that we don’t have the ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if a pipeline can be here. If one is to be here what conditions can we create to make it the safest process, the safest project,” Walker says. The new ordinance would have prevented a new hazardous liquid pipeline from locating too close to dwellings, places of public assembly or in future growth areas.

(reporting by Zachary Oren Smith, Iowa Public Radio)