Dickinson County drafts pipeline ordinance with hopes to avoid lawsuit

Iowa Capital Dispatch
BY:  – MARCH 1, 2024 4:21 PM



Dickinson County is considering a carbon dioxide pipeline ordinance that is less restrictive than others in Iowa that have been challenged in court, in an effort to regulate the pipelines without getting sued, according to county officials.

Specifically, the latest draft of the Dickinson ordinance requires the pipelines to be placed at least 1,600 feet — or three-tenths of a mile — away from cities. Other ordinances that are subject to litigation require a two-mile separation.

That might help the county avoid lawsuits that have embroiled five other counties that adopted similar ordinances in response to a pipeline proposal under consideration by state regulators, said Megan Kardell, zoning and environmental health administrator for Dickinson.

“We did not zone it out of the county,” Kardell said of her latest draft ordinance. “I’m hoping somebody doesn’t sue us, and that they play ball. They could make something work.”

The ordinance is set to be considered March 18 by the county’s planning and zoning commission. If it gets the commission’s approval, it could be subject to a vote by county supervisors in April and become effective in May. Read more