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SLPWA Comments to the DEC on LPG Storage

Yesterday October, 3, 2011 Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association sent to Mr. David Bimber of the NYS Department of Conservation comments regarding the Finger Lakes LPG Storage Facility north of Watkins Glen on the southern shores of Seneca Lake. In addition we sent copies of our comments to NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, DEC Comm. Joe Martens and NYS Legislative members from our watershed.Our full comments to the NYS DEC and to Gov. Cuomo are attached to this press release. In summary SLPWA stated:Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association has provided the attached comments regarding the proposed LPG storage facility by the Finger Lakes LPG Storage LLC in Watkins Glen, New York. Our comments were in response to a request by the NYSDEC for public comments in regards to the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) submitted for this project (DEC 8-4432-00085/00001 issued August 1, 2011. Our Association represents over 400 member residents within the Seneca Lake watershed.We are concerned that the salt caverns do not have the geologic stability to properly contain the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) under the pressures specified without failure and potential harm to Seneca Lake.We are concerned about the environmental safety of Seneca Lake in regards to catastrophic failure of the proposed brine pond above Seneca Lake. In addition, while outside of our association’s mission as the “Voice of Seneca Lake”, SLPWA believes that the DEC should give consideration to three other issues related to the proposal by Inergy.An independent 3rd party evaluation of a Quantitative Risk Assessment has merit and should be pursued to evaluate the geologic stability of the US Salt solution salt caverns, and the feasibility of such a facility near Watkins Glen given the geographic location within a glacial valley.A study to evaluate the social-economic impact of the project on the already established and growing tourism and wine industry of the region. Risking the vitality of this growth in an area that has faced economic uncertainty in the past maybe misguided.The ability of first responders (police, fire and rescue teams and medical facilities) to cope with an emergency at the proposed facilities should not be overlooked and properly funded by Inergy, prior to approval for construction. Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association strongly recommends that the SEIS Scoping Outline include additional geological assessment of these salt caverns to assure that the proposed facility can be used safely for the long term storage of LPG. We also urge the DEC to require Inergy to look for a more environmentally suitable location for the brine pond that would protect Seneca Lake from a catastrophic failure. Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association

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