Public Notice Information
Water: 401 Certification
Trailblazer C02 Pipeline, LLC
Various locations within Columbus and York
Columbus and York
Public Notice Documents
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401 Water Quality Certification
May 16, 2024
June 15, 2024

Legal Notice Below


In accordance with Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Par. 1251 et seq.), certification that Title 117 – Nebraska Surface Water Quality Standards (Nebraska Administrative Code) will not be violated has been applied for to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) by the persons listed below for discharges requiring Federal permits or licenses.

Trailblazer C02 Pipeline, LLC, and Stantec have applied for a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct activities in Waters of the United States. The proposed project requires state Water Quality Certification in accordance with Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401(a)(1), which states that:

Any applicant for a Federal license or permit to conduct any activity including, but not limited to, the construction or operation of facilities, which may result in any discharge into the navigable waters, shall provide the licensing or permitting agency a certification from the State in which the discharge originates or will originate, or, if appropriate, from the interstate water pollution control agency having jurisdiction over the navigable waters at the point where the discharge originates or will originate, that any such discharge will comply with the applicable provisions of sections 301, 302, 303, 306, and 307 of this title.

Trailblazer CO2 Pipeline, LLC (Trailblazer CO2), a subsidiary of Tallgrass Energy, LP, seeks to construct and operate the proposed TPCO2-03 Lateral of the TPCO2 Capture Project (project), which is approximately 85.7 total miles of steel pipeline (approximately 83.8 miles of 12-inch-diameter pipeline and approximately 1.9 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline) that would transport captured carbon dioxide from two existing ethanol plants in Columbus and York, Nebraska, to the existing Trailblazer Pipeline. The Trailblazer Pipeline would then transport the captured carbon dioxide to an underground sequestration hub in southeastern Wyoming. On average, the pipeline would be buried to a minimum depth of four feet below ground.

In addition to the pipeline, the proposed project would include several aboveground appurtenances (AGAs) to support its operation. These AGAs would include 11 mainline valves (MLVs), two pig launcher/receiver sites, and a letdown station (LDS). On average, the MLVs would be spaced approximately 15 miles apart, unless placement is dictated by federal or state regulations such as waterbody crossings 100 feet or greater in width. The pig launchers and receivers, which would be located at each terminus of the project, would be utilized for periodic integrity testing of the line. The LDS, which would be located at the tie-in location with the existing Trailblazer Pipeline, would serve to depressurize the carbon dioxide and facilitate injection into the primary pipeline that transports the carbon dioxide the sequestration hub in Wyoming.

The project would be constructed, operated, and owned in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

The proposed project would be located in the Rainwater Basin, and the construction footprint would cross multiple waters of the United States. The NDEE requires that Trailblazer CO2 review proposed actions and determine whether such actions may affect a wetland or waterbody. Trailblazer CO2 secured Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (Stantec) to conduct an evaluation of the proposed TPCO2-03 Lateral.

In summary, construction of the project would cross eight wetlands via Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD), one wetland via conventional bore, 25 wetlands via open-cut methods, and 22 wetlands sited within the construction footprint, resulting in temporary wetland impacts of 3.65 acres. Once construction is complete, the 3.65 acres of temporary wetland impacts would be returned to preconstruction contours. No permanent impacts to these wetlands, including conversion or other permanent loss, would occur. Construction of the project would cross 10 waterbodies via HDD, one waterbody via conventional bore, 23 waterbodies via open-cut methods, and five waterbodies sited within the construction footprint, resulting in temporary waterbody impacts of 0.79 acre. Once construction is complete, the 0.79 acre of temporary waterbody impacts would be returned to preconstruction contours. No permanent loss of surface waters would occur.

The proposed certification and supporting materials are available for inspection at the office of NDEE, 245 Fallbrook Blvd, STE 100, Lincoln, Nebraska. Persons may comment upon or object to the application, by submitting written comments within 30 days after this publication date of this notice. Comments should be limited to the scope of state Water Quality Certification (WQC) under Section 401 of the CWA. During this period, persons may request a public hearing. A request for a hearing must state the nature of the issues to be raised and all arguments and actual grounds supporting such position. Such comments shall be considered prior to making a final decision regarding the request. Any comments or requests should be submitted to:

CWA Section 401 Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
245 Fallbrook Blvd, Suite 100
Lincoln, NE 68521


Please notify NDEE in advance if alternate formats of documents are needed. Our switchboard phone number is 402-471-2186. TDD users please call 711 and ask the relay operator to call us at 402-471-2186.