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We are a group of concerned citizens and business owners who have joined together to stop a proposed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industrial storage facility and a methane expansion facility, with plans to store methane, propane, and butane in unlined, depleted salt caverns that were never engineered to store anything, on the shores of Seneca Lake.  These projects present innumerable risks to our safety, our water , way of life, and our livelihoods. Please join us!

 

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Crestwood, a Houston energy company, is trying to industrialize Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes by proposing a massive project to store liquefied petroleum gases in unlined salt caverns under Seneca Lake.  This project presents geological problems, can affect Seneca Lake water quality, presents health risks, is a threat to our winery and tourist economy, as well as being an infrastructure project that could negatively impact climate change.

There are a lot of resources on this website. So look around.  Some suggestions:

  • Watch the January 2015 update on the Donate page
  • Watch portions of the Seneca in the Balance event on the Events page.  You can see noted professionals and business owners in the field of geology, health, tourism, agriculture, winery, biology and politics examine the problems of this project.
  •  For the latest. go to our Facebook page
  • Under Resources you’ll find a lot of information including videos, expert testimony, articles,  and DEC documents

 

Look around and you’ll find a lot of information here.

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While Earthjustice is providing pro-bono legal work, your donation will go directly towards the costs of expert reports, affidavits and in some cases testimony that need to be prepared in our on-going legal battle to preserve Seneca Lake.  Our independent expert Geologist, Hydro-geologist, Risk Analyst, Noise Expert, Economist and  Community Character Expert are providing Governor Cuomo with the research he needs to build a case for denying permits to Crestwood. We expect the cumulative cost for these additional reports and testimony will be up to $130,000. Your donation will be used for this expert testimony either in the event of a full hearing, or an appeal. 

Please consider donating to support our work.

You can donate online or you can send us a check.  Information is on the donate page


 

Find the latest on our Facebook page:

For Immediate Release
August 23, 2016

COALITION ON SENECA LAKE REPRESENTING 1.2 MILLION NEW YORKERS VOICES STAUNCH OPPOSITION TO CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM GAS STORAGE FACILITIES, DESPITE RECENT CONCESSIONS

Groups Call For Governor Cuomo’s Support in Order to Protect Economic and Environmental Interests of the Region

(Watkins Glen, NY) Seneca Lake has long been known for its natural and picturesque beauty and thriving wine industry, attracting tourists from throughout New York State and around the world. Gas Free Seneca (GFS), an all-volunteer grassroots organization representing a nearly 400 strong business coalition and 32 municipalities wants to keep it that way calling for the halt to a proposal that would store liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in salt caverns beside Seneca Lake and threaten nearby water sources. A chorus of other key voices in the region were present and raised concerns over the Crestwood gas storage facilities, including Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition, Seneca Lake Communities, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers, Elected Officials, and Property Owners around Seneca Lake.

The groups convened today at the Marina Park at the foot of Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen, NY in response to a series of modifications submitted by Crestwood Midstream and its subsidiaries, a Texas based company. Under the revised plan, only propane would be stored at the facility and Crestwood nixed some of its above-ground construction project, however GFS reiterates its overarching position that these storage facilities have serious health, safety and economic repercussions. Crestwood’s project has the potential to threaten a nearly 3 billion dollar a year tourist and wine industry that employs nearly 60,000 people.

“Notwithstanding Crestwood’s recent desperate attempt to sway public opinion by announcing that they are downsizing the proposed gas storage, we stand more resolved than ever that this misguided industrial gas storage project, sited on a steep hillside over the largest body of freshwater in NY State and in the very heart of a world class tourist destination, as evidenced by the many accolades that the Finger Lakes has earned and continues to earn, will never be acceptable. In fact, the changes that Crestwood is proposing simply underscore the fact that we were right all along; the project has transportation safety risks, it would be noisy, ugly and a visual blight that is inconsistent with the Finger Lakes Brand that generations have spent building,” said Gas Free Seneca President Joseph Campbell.

"Finger Lakes wines have repeatedly won the Governor’s Cup, many of them from Seneca Lake, because we are blessed with the right terroir, the right water, and generations of hard-working people who have made the Region what it is today”, said winery owner Vinny Aliperti, whose Billsboro Syrah recently won the distinguished Governor’s Cup Award. “We simply cannot afford to have any industry threaten what we have fostered here in the Finger Lakes, and Crestwood Midstream Partners' plan for gas storage, even with the recently proposed changes, does just that. Governor Cuomo’s continued support is appreciated and essential. We urge him to deny all permits to Crestwood and its subsidiaries.”

GFS also announced that they have sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging his consideration of the LPG project, stating “This kind of unstable geology makes the caverns along Seneca Lake profoundly unacceptable for gas storage, making a relocation of its gas storage operations to a more suitable site the only acceptable concession Crestwood could make.”

EarthJustice, an environmental law organization representing GFS also submitted a letter to Chief Administrative Law Judge James T. McClymonds, where it calls for a revised application that “will enable the DEC to revise the draft permit conditions, to ensure that FLLLPG’s trumpeted changes are formalized in clear, binding and enforceable requirements. The letter further requests that the serious unresolved issues of cavern integrity and water quality be fully adjudicated.

“Crestwood’s voluntary concessions mean nothing until they are translated into binding and enforceable legal obligations,” said Deborah Goldberg of Earthjustice, counsel for Gas Free Seneca. “What’s more, none of its promises address the most serious risks presented by the storage of liquid petroleum gas in unstable underground salt caverns.“

The Finger Lakes wine region has been a leader in showing the promise of renewable energy as the future for generations to come whereas the Crestwood project is stuck in the past, promoting dirty fossil fuels that are incompatible with energy sustainability and independence. Last year, the region was awarded the Solar Champion award for its commitment to strengthening solar energy in America and boasts over 20 wineries in the area that have converted to solar panels. As GFS calls for Governor Cuomo’s attention to this matter, it also remains committed to the governor’s Renewable Energy Vision (REV) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

“The Finger Lakes is Wine Country, not Gas Country, and Seneca Lake is the absolutely wrong place to store fracked gas”, said wine maker and Secretary of the Finger Lakes Business Wine Coalition Will Ouweleen. This project is all risk and no reward and is simply a bad idea, especially in the wake of the Aliso Canyon/Porter Ranch disaster. All underground gas storage needs new regulations, and until those federal regulations are finalized and adopted, it is irresponsible to move forward with any expansion of gas storage on Seneca Lake.”

Gas Free Seneca (GFS) is an all-volunteer grassroots organization that was established in 2011. It is the founding organization and the Lead Petitioner in the legal battle opposing Crestwood Midstream and its subsidiaries’ plan to turn the Finger Lakes into the gas storage and transport hub for the Northeastern United States. GFS has a nearly 400 strong business coalition and has assisted 32 municipalities in drafting resolutions opposed to gas storage, which represents 1.2 million New York residents.

For links to the letters submitted to Governor Cuomo and ALJ click the following:
earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/2016-08-22%20GFS%20Letter%20to%20CALJ%20re%20Project%2...

earthjustice.org/documents/letter/letter-to-governor-cuomo-finger-lakes-lpg-storage

For more information on Gas Free Seneca, please visit www.gasfreeseneca.com
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