Morgan County Signs Resolution Against Use of Eminent Domain in Proposed CO2 Pipeline Project

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 11, 2022 at 10:35am

The Morgan County Commissioners took a step in trying to keep eminent domain from being used in the construction of a proposed pipeline this morning.

Navigator CO2 Ventures, the Texas-based company that wants to build the 1,300-mile CO2 sequestration pipeline through the heart of West Central Illinois, filed paperwork to petition for a permit with the ICC in late July.

The 47-page filing asks for permission to operate in the state, construct the pipeline, and also would allow the company to use the law of eminent domain if a landowner refuses to sign over a land-use agreement.

The Morgan County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution this morning against the usage of eminent domain by the company.

Board Chairman Brad Zeller says in a previous conversation with Navigator CO2 Ventures, the Commissioners expressed their concerns about the potential use of eminent domain.

We had received some feedback from them that that would be their last resort, that they wanted to work with our landowners and that would be the best path to take so to speak. We agreed with that, and then when they filed with the I.C.C., in reading their document that they would request eminent domain.

So we felt that this was a first step for the County Board to send to our legislators and to the I.C.C. That Morgan County is against the use of eminent domain in this project.”

Commissioner Ginny Fanning said during the meeting she feels that landowners in Morgan County need to be able to make their own decision as to if the pipeline will be allowed to cross their property.

Commissioner Mike Wankel agreed with Fanning, saying he feels this is a good stand that the board is taking with their landowners. Zeller says this is the first step in the process and that they are looking into their options including the possibility of retaining legal counsel in the matter.

Local environmental groups and landowners are objecting to the Navigator Heartland Greenway project, which would take CO2 emissions from plants in North and South Dakota and carry them to a sequestration facility in Christian County.

The proposed pipeline would cut across portions of Morgan, Scott, Brown, Pike, Schuyler, and Sangamon counties.