By Jared Strong
Iowa Capital Dispatch 

Navigator CO2 asks Iowa regulators to pause its pipeline permit request

Company pledges project update by end of March


October 5, 2023


Navigator CO2's proposed pipeline route would cross itself southwest of Hartley.

Navigator CO2 wants to suspend its pipeline permit process in Iowa until utility regulators in Illinois approve the project, according to a motion it filed in Iowa.

The company wants to build a carbon dioxide pipeline system that would transport the captured greenhouse gas from ethanol plants and other facilities to Illinois, where it will be sequestered underground or used for other commercial purposes.

About 810 miles of the initially proposed system lies in Iowa, but the company said it is adjusting its plans after a setback in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission denied Navigator a permit to construct its pipeline in early September. Since then, the company has indicated that it is not negotiating for new land easements in that state and in part of Iowa.

Navigator filed a motion with the Iowa Utilities Board on Friday to cancel a scheduling conference that was set for Oct. 9, withdraw its motion to establish a procedural schedule and to pause its permit proceedings.

"Navigator is currently reviewing its Iowa route and technical specifications in light of decisions from regulatory authorities in neighboring states and individual landowner requests, which may lead to necessary revisions in Iowa," Navigator said in a prepared statement. "Being conscious of the time and resources of all parties to this proceeding, Navigator has withdrawn the proposed procedural schedule with the Iowa Utilities Board."

The company plans to file an update on its project with the board by the end of March. Illinois regulators are expected to make a final decision on the project by the end of February.

The Friday motion is a substantial shift from the company's plans two months ago, when it was pining for the IUB to finalize a schedule. At the time, it sought to start its final evidentiary hearing in June 2024.

The company is one of three that have proposed carbon dioxide pipeline projects in Iowa. Summit Carbon Solutions recently concluded its sixth week of testimony for its evidentiary hearing and has said it wants a decision by the end of the year. Wolf Carbon Solutions petitioned for a permit in February, but its process has had little progress since, according to IUB filings.

Jared Strong is the senior reporter at the Iowa Capital Dispatch. More of his work can be found at


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