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What's happening with One Earth's project?
On December 14, the McLean County Board denied One Earth Sequestration LLC’s request for a special use permit to inject CO2 in three wells near Saybrook, Illinois and store it underground in McLean County. Their denial was largely due to the lack of an emergency response plan required to address a potential release of CO2 that could affect rural residences and communities (including Gibson City); and the absence of a plan to remediate drinking water contamination, should the injected CO2 escape into the groundwater. The project would inject CO2 through recharge areas of the Mahomet Aquifer, which provides fresh drinking water for nearly 1 million people.  

Then, on February 4, One Earth Sequestration LLC received a recommendation of denial for its proposed 7.34-mile carbon dioxide pipeline through Ford and McLean Counties from Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) staff member Mark Maple. Mr. Maple has concerns related to safety, uncertainty of the route (the carbon storage site has not been approved by the U.S. EPA), and the lack of progress One Earth has made in obtaining easements to build its project. Therefore, he concluded that One Earth’s project does not meet the legislative intent of the CO2 Act. You can read his testimony here: bit.ly/ICCMaple into your internet browser.

But neither McLean County’s denial of their special use request, or the recommendation of denial of the pipeline project by ICC staff has deterred One Earth from moving forward. The company plans to return to McLean County with an updated request for carbon sequestration and is continuing to pursue ICC approval for its CO2 pipeline project. While One Earth’s CO2 proposed pipeline is small, it has been oversized to accommodate third party users, and their planned storage site is ten times larger than needed for their Gibson City plant. That means more pipelines will be constructed than presented in the company’s application to the ICC. 

Should you be concerned? A release of CO2 from a pipeline rupture can travel a mile and harm - or even kill - people in its path. One Earth is moving forward before the federal government finalizes safety and oversight of CO2 pipelines initiated by rulemaking. Emergency response planning is lacking, and no funding exists to purchase the equipment first responders will need to ensure the safe and successful rescue of people. And finally, One Earth has not conducted the modeling needed to establish safe setbacks, and the Illinois Commerce Commission does not review or regulate the separation between a CO2 pipeline and occupied residences or other buildings.

What can you do? On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines will host another meeting to discuss the potential impacts from a project that could affect your drinking water or harm you if a CO2 pipeline were to leak or rupture. We’ll set aside plenty of time for questions and present actions you can take to support neighbors, local governments, and first responders in Ford and McLean Counties. Please join us!

Learn what you can do to protect your health, safety, and water!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Moyer District Library 
618 S. Sangamon Avenue, Gibson City, Illinois

Sponsored by: 
The Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines

For more information:
Visit NoIlliinoisCO2Pipelines.org, or 
Email Lan at Coalition@NoIllinoisCO2Pipelines.org

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