The risks of high pressure carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines are among the issues that will be discussed at a free public informational meeting on September 18th at 6:30 p.m. at the Geneseo Community Center, 541 E. North Street.

Carbon dioxide is an asphyxiant that is heavier than air. A CO2 cloud from a leak can travel long distances, depending on weather conditions and land topography. A CO2 cloud in Sitartia, Mississippi in 2020 led to hundreds of people evacuating and several dozen more going to hospitals. Because carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it displaces oxygen. People and livestock exposed to high concentrations of CO2 may have minutes to escape before confusion, loss of consciousness and even coma or death can occur. When water and carbon dioxide combine, the result is carbonic acid. This acid can deteriorate the insides of pipelines or potentially contaminate water resources.

“What happens if there is a carbon dioxide line rupture in a far-flung rural area,” asked Bill Davies, a volunteer with the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines. “How long will it take for emergency responders to reach homes where residents might be sleeping, or are otherwise unaware of what was happening?”  

This meeting is being presented by members of the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance and the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines. For more information on the Coalition, click here .