|
The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Village of Watkins Glen passes resolution opposing LPG facility

    • email print
  • The Village of Watkins Glen has passed a resolution opposing Crestwood’s plans for a large-scale LPG storage and distribution facility on Seneca Lake.
    The facility would be located in the Town of Reading, just north of the village. It would store propane and butane in the salt caverns beneath the U.S. Salt plant, which Crestwood owns.
    Watkins Glen’s resolution states that it would involve storage of up to 2.1 million barrels of LPG, with up to 32 railcar and 45 truck transports a day and brine ponds holding nearly 1.2 million barrels of brine.
    Future expansion of the facility is “a real possibility,” the resolution says.
    The resolution notes the area’s thriving wine and tourism industry and a major redevelopment effort along the Watkins Glen lakefront known as Project Seneca.
    It also notes that Seneca Lake is the source of drinking water for 100,000 people, including the village; and that Watkins Glen is located at the intersection of two single-lane state highways and already sees “problematic high load truck traffic.”
    “The Crestwood project has polarized the region with valid concerns of rampant industrialization, negative environmental impacts, safety risks, negative impacts to infrastructure and the potential to negatively affect the economic livelihood of a region dependent on tourism,” the resolution says.
    It asks the state Department of Environmental Conservation - which has been reviewing the project since February 2010 - to withhold approval and help Crestwood identify a “more appropriate location” for the facility.
    The resolution was approved 3-0 at Monday’s meeting, with two board members abstaining.
    “We applaud the Watkins Glen Village Board for courageously taking a stand against Crestwood’s dangerous and reckless proposal to turn our precious homes and Finger Lakes economy into an unsafe heavy industrial zone,” said Yvonne Taylor of Gas Free Seneca, a local group fighting the project, in a statement.
    Gas Free Seneca says 10 municipalities in the Seneca Lake region have passed resolutions opposing the LPG facility, including Seneca County and the City of Geneva.
    The Schuyler County Legislature passed a resolution in support in June.
    Crestwood released the following statement Wednesday on the Watkins Glen Village Board's vote:
    “We are disappointed that the Board of Trustees passed this resolution. Our propane storage project will be environmentally sound, will add significant tax base to the local economies, and will help local consumers avoid paying more than they should for propane during the winter months. We recognize that misinformation about our project creates confusion and concern, so we will work harder to help our local communities better understand the real risks and benefits of this shovel-ready project.”

        calendar