The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) issued an order today establishing the complete procedural schedule and public evidentiary hearing date for Summit Carbon Solutions (Summit Carbon) proposed hazardous liquid pipeline in Docket No. HLP-2021-0001. The procedural schedule includes deadlines for intervention, filed testimony and reports. It schedules the hearing to begin on August 22, 2023, at the Cardiff Event Center, 3232 First Ave. S., Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Because all parties deserve a process that is open and transparent and does not unreasonably delay a decision about their interest, the IUB will begin the hearing process with testimony of landowners subject to eminent domain and provide a video livestream for the entire hearing, allowing landowners and others who are unable to attend in person to observe the hearing remotely.

To further assist landowners, the IUB will create a schedule of dates, by area, for receiving testimony on Exhibit H from landowners. In setting such a calendar, the IUB is looking to provide clarity to landowners about when they will need to be at the hearing to provide their testimony.

At the evidentiary hearing, the IUB will hear evidence in favor of or opposing the proposed pipeline. Following the hearing, the IUB will consider all information presented, including comments and objections filed in the docket, before issuing a final decision and order. The IUB is dedicated to the delivery of well-reasoned decisions in a timely manner, no matter how difficult.

At a June 6 status conference, participants discussed the procedural schedule and potential use of mediators, presiding officers, and satellite locations. The parties attending were Summit Carbon; the Office of Consumer Advocate, a division of the Iowa Department of Justice; the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Sierra Club Iowa Chapter; corn processors LSCP, LLC, and PLCP, LLLP; Iowans for a Growing Agricultural Economy; Mr. George Cummins; and a representative for the Boards of Supervisors in Dickinson, Emmet, Floyd, Hardin, Kossuth, Shelby, Woodbury and Wright counties.

Today’s order addresses options discussed at the June 6 status conference.

On the use of presiding officers to receive testimony and evidence from landowners subject to eminent domain. The IUB will not use presiding or hearing officers to hear evidence; however, the IUB will limit the use of a presiding officer to that of hearing and deciding discovery disputes under 199 Iowa Administrative Code 7.3.

On the subject of mediation and virtual testimony, the IUB will continue to explore these options in order to determine if there is sufficient interest to move forward.  

In an effort to provide open access and streamline logistics, the IUB is considering a mailer to be sent to landowners subject to eminent domain (Exhibit H) to determine their preference for participation in the hearing via in-person testimony, written testimony, or virtual/remote testimony. The mailer would also include a question on whether the landowner is interested in voluntary mediation.

The IUB is cognizant of the hundreds of landowners not represented or unable to attend the status conferences and will continue to seek ways to engage all landowners in the docket process.

Summit Carbon filed its petition to construct, operate, and maintain a proposed 687 miles of 6- to 24-inch diameter hazardous liquid pipeline to transport liquefied carbon dioxide within the state of Iowa on January 28, 2022, in Docket No. HLP-2021-0001.