Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska requests impact study on proposed carbon dioxide pipelines

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 2:47 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO, Neb. (WOWT) - The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is asking for an environmental impact study regarding two pipelines.

The Winnebago Tribal Council has unanimously approved a new resolution that requests an environmental impact study for two proposed pipelines: The Summit Carbon Pipeline and the Navigator Heartland Greenway Carbon Pipeline.

Carbon dioxide would be transported through the proposed pipelines. The owner of one of the projects, Summit Carbon Solutions, says the pipelines will gather carbon dioxide produced by ethanol plants across the Midwest and pump it underground for permanent storage - effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

If built, the pipelines would be placed north of the Winnebago Indian Reservation and cross the Missouri River. The Winnebago Tribe is downstream of the proposed build sites.

“The Winnebago Tribe has consistently opposed the issuance of pipeline permits that could negatively impact our lands or water,” the resolution states. “An environmental impact study would outline the effects of the proposed pipelines on the environment and should provide sufficient information to evaluate the relative merits of the proposed pipelines and alternatives. The permit-issuing bodies cannot make reasoned or informed decisions without this information. Nor can the general public.”

The resolution requesting the impact study was sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Woodbury County and the Dakota County Commissioners. The Tribal Council requested each entity provide a response to the Tribe in writing.

“CO2 is deadly when inhaled, what happens when this pipeline fails? The pipeline construction path is placed on the ancestral lands of the Nebraska Tribes, what happens when they disturb our ancestors’ burial sites? There is just too much unknown for these pipelines, that’s why it’s important that this study be conducted. It’s our duty to protect mother earth,” said Winnebago Tribal Secretary Lorelei DeCora.

Winnebago Tribal Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan says the Tribe supports those who could be negatively affected by the pipelines.

“The Winnebago Tribe stands in solidarity with area farmers who oppose these pipelines and the use of eminent domain to acquire access to lands without landowner consent,” Kitcheyan said. “The health, well-being and rights of everyone is important to us all.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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