Hearing Ordered in Navigator Pipeline Case

A northwest Iowa judge has scheduled a hearing on September 30th to consider a couple’s request that a carbon pipeline developer be at least temporarily barred from conducting surveys on their Woodbury County land. Navigator has sued William and Vicki Hulse of Moville, accusing the couple of violating a state law that allows its agents to access to land along its proposed pipeline route. The Hulses have filed a counter claim, arguing the law is an unconstitutional taking of private land. Brian Rickert, an attorney for the pipeline developer, is urging the judge to expedite the case. 

Brian Jorde, the couple’s attorney, told the judge there’s no legal deadline for completing the land surveys along the pipeline route.  


The judge who held a status hearing on the dispute let both attorneys present some initial arguments Wednesday morning. Navigator’s attorney accused pipeline critics of using the court to try to slow down the project.  


Jorde is the attorney for the couple refusing to let pipeline surveyors on their property. He told the judge he’ll be citing a recent Supreme Court opinion on property rights.   


Jorde has filed similar claims for landowners in Clay and Butler Counties. Navigator is suing a Sioux Rapids man and two Butler County property owners who have refused to allow the pipeline’s surveyors on their property.