For Immediate Release
We Are Seneca Lake Responds to FERC Approval of Extension for Gas Storage Permit
Statement from Sandra Steingraber on behalf of We Are Seneca Lake
“At 6 p.m. on May 16, the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted a last-minute permit extension giving Crestwood’s Arlington subsidiary another two years to expand its natural gas storage facility in decrepit salt caverns next to Seneca Lake in the heart of New York’s wine country.
"In so doing, FERC has enabled Crestwood to continue to pollute, risk calamity to water, air, and land, and deepen New York’s dependency on fossil fuels. Once again, FERC is putting the interests of fossil fuel companies over public welfare, climate, safety, and health.
"We Are Seneca Lake condemns this decision, which compels residents of the Finger Lakes to live with risks to which we did not consent. Crestwood is under investigation by the EPA for massive brine spills in North Dakota and has routinely violated its water quality permits for the U.S. Salt facility, adjacent to the Seneca Lake gas storage facility. Salt cavern storage accounts for only seven percent of total underground storage of natural gas in the United States but, since 1972, is responsible for 100 percent of the catastrophic accidents that resulted in loss of life.
"Tellingly, 99.1 percent of the public comments submitted to FERC’s docket expressed opposition to extending the permit (332 out of 335 comments). Of the three comments in favor of the extension, two came from Crestwood’s Arlington project itself.
"This dismissive, reckless decision comes only hours after more than 100 New Yorkers rallied outside the Consolidated Edison shareholders meeting in downtown Manhattan to demand that Con Ed back out of the deal to co-own the gas storage facility with Crestwood. And it took place on the same day that seven climate activists were arrested outside FERC headquarters in Washington DC while protesting the agency's rubber stamp approval of fracked gas infrastructure projects of all kinds. Clearly, FERC’s rubber stamp is alive and well.
"We Are Seneca Lake remains committed to opposing gas storage at Seneca Lake. Our direct action campaign has continued strong for a year and a half and will continue as long as it has to. We won't stop until Crestwood stops.”
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We Are Seneca Lake is an ongoing, citizen-based, grassroots campaign that seeks to protect Seneca Lake and the surrounding region from gas storage expansion by Texas-based energy company, Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood’s intention is to repurpose the crumbling salt mines underneath Seneca Lake’s hillside into massive, unlined gas tanks for three highly pressurized products of fracking: methane (natural gas), and propane and butane (LPG, or Liquefied Petroleum Gases) and to turn the Finger Lakes into a fracked gas transportation and storage hub for the entire Northeast. Our intention is to direct the future of our community down sustainable, renewable pathways.