Mariah Plumlee

Urgent, Rapid Response Needed – Send a Message to FERC!

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Jan 292016
 

GREEN LIGHT MESSAGE – SHARE FAR AND WIDE!

Urgent, Rapid Response Needed – A Short Weekend Homework Assignment

Dear Seneca Lake Defenders,

We have just learned that Crestwood’s subsidiary, Arlington Storage, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a two-year extension on their methane storage expansion project at Seneca Lake. (The original order expires on May 15th.) This provides us with a golden opportunity—with an extremely short window—to get FERC to deny this request and, hence, stop the project in its tracks, but we need your immediate help.

FERC’s approval of Crestwood/Arlington’s plan to greatly expand methane (natural gas) storage in the Seneca Lake salt caverns was, as you will recall, the trigger for We Are Seneca Lake’s campaign in October 2014. To date, Crestwood/Arlington has not broken ground on that project. But the federal permission that it has to get its project up and running comes with a deadline. Unless the company can secure an extension, the expiration date is May.

Please note that the Arlington project is specific to natural gas (methane). This does not directly affect Crestwood’s other project, which seeks approval for the storage of LPG (propane and butane), for which FERC is not involved.

FERC could approve Arlington’s request as early as this coming Monday, so we need to act quickly. We have a two-pronged approach that requires hundreds of us to act—and act without delay. Thus, your two-part homework assignment:

  1. Call Governor Cuomo. Ask him to tell FERC to NOT issue a 2-year extension to Crestwood’s Subsidiary, Arlington Storage, for their natural gas expansion project on Seneca Lake. Dial 1-518-474-8390. Choose option 3 to talk to a live person. (Expanded talking points below.) Calls are already streaming in to the Governor’s office, and we must keep the pressure up all weekend and on Monday too. After business hours and on the weekend, you can leave phone messages.
  1. Flood FERC with your own comments. Submit comments electronically into the docket Arlington Storage Company, LLC,

Docket No. CP13-83-000. Ask FERC to deny Arlington’s application for a 2-year extension to construct expanded gas storage on Seneca Lake.

 Your comments need to be submitted right into the docket. That takes a few steps, but it’s not difficult. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Write your letter using your word processor (MS Word, etc) or a text file. (See talking points below for ideas of what you might say.)

Step 2: Go to FERC’s web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp

Step 3: Click anywhere in the box that says “eComment: Does not require eRegistration” (The “eComment” text has a bright orange background).

Step 4: Fill out the form with your name, address, etc. FERC will send you an email message.

Step 5: Go to your email app. Open the message from FERC (“FERC eComment Request” is the subject line”.)

Step 6: Click on the link in FERC’s message.

Step 7: You’ll see the information you entered earlier (name, address, etc). Paste the text of the letter you wrote into the empty text box at the bottom of the form.

Talking Points for Call and Comment Writing

We know weekend time is precious, so we’ve provided talking points to prime the pump and make your comment writing easier. First, tell FERC clearly what you want it to do; namely,

  • Request that FERC deny Arlington Storage Company LLC an extension for their methane storage expansion project.

Then provide a reason why FERC should do this. Choose any one or two of the reasons below or provide your own. Keep in mind that your comments must be specific to salt cavern storage of methane (natural gas). LPG storage or transportation is not relevant here.

If you have already written a statement as a defender, please feel free to include it! If you have ever written a letter to the editor or explained why you oppose natural gas storage expansion, you can re-use it. Otherwise here are nine possible ideas. Again, choose just one or two and put them in your own words.

  1. Arlington has had plenty of time to ensure that it could meet its construction deadline of May 15, 2016, but instead, sat on its rights. Arlington has not shown good cause why it should be granted another two years to construct a facility that was authorized almost two years ago. Arlington has been on notice since May 15, 2014, that it was required to put its facility into service by May 15, 2016, and yet has taken no meaningful steps to initiate construction. The Commission should hold Arlington to the stated terms of the Certificate Order.
  1. Market conditions have changed. We now have a glut of gas, and natural gas prices have plummeted. The area around the storage project has not experienced the price spikes that allegedly justified expansion of Arlington’s facility. Therefore, the need assessment FERC did in 2014 is no longer valid, and the project is no longer “in the public convenience and necessity.” Arlington is not entitled to keep the project in the pipeline in the hope that market conditions will change. The fact that the market may be more favorable sometime in the next two years is not “good cause” for extending the deadline for Arlington’s project. There is currently no genuine demand for Arlington’s product, which is a clear indication that “public convenience and necessity” do not justify this project.
  1. The community does not want the project. 31 municipalities, representing 1.2 million New York residents, have passed resolutions opposing hydrocarbon storage on the shores of Seneca Lake. Say why you personally don’t want it.
  1. Given both the community’s concerns, and the lack of need for more storage, the project cannot be said to be in the public interest.
  1. If Arlington wants another two years to build this project, FERC should deny the extension, rescind the order authorizing construction, and Arlington should start the application process over again. There’s a reason there’s a time limit on FERC’s orders.
  1. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and contributes to the destruction of our climate. Since Arlington received its original approval, all the nations of the world have agreed to move away from fossil fuels as part of the Paris Agreement. More new natural gas infrastructure takes us in the wrong direction.
  1. Underground storage of natural gas is inherently dangerous, as illustrated by the ongoing disaster in Porter Ranch, California at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility. Storing gas in salt caverns is relatively rare and has a bad track record. There is an unacceptable history of leakage, collapse or explosion, as in, for example, Hutchinson, Kansas and Livingston County, New York.
  1. This project is located in the wrong place. Seneca Lake is a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Arlington wants to increase gas storage—a seven-fold increase of capacity—on the banks of Seneca Lake, only a few hundred yards from the lake’s shoreline and less than 5 miles north of Watkins Glen, which is visited by over half a million tourists annually, and on the western Seneca Wine Trail. Arlington’s plan would snarl the wine trail with industrial-scale traffic.
  1. This project threatens the Finger Lakes’ sustainable economy based on tourism and recreation that brings over $4.8 billion annual revenue to NY State.

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Dec 032015
 

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Courtroom Support for Seneca Lake Defenders: Wed. Nov. 18th 5pm

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Nov 142015
 

 

What: Please come out to support 41 Seneca Lake Defenders at their pre-trial hearings and arraignments, on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 5:00pm.Wear blue, bear witness, and offer your silent support inside the courtroom.

Where: Town of Reading Court
3914 County Route 28, Reading, NY 14891

When: Wednesday Nov. 18th, 5pm

Who: Peggy Abbott, Shirley Barton, Richard Battaglia, Robyn Bem, Dan Burgevin, Lyndsay Clark, Nancy Cook, John Dennis, Josh Dolan,Tessa Sage Flores, Zan Gerrity, Lyn Gerry, Ira Goldstein, Martha Hennessy, Gabrielle Illava, Margaret McCasland, Barbara Pease, Mariah Plumlee, Cynda Poley, Stephanie Redmond, James Ricks, Todd Saddler, Laura Salamendra, Coby Schultz, Mark Scibilia-Carver, Barbara Smith, Ba Stopha, Ann Sullivan, Michael Bucci, Tricia Campbell
Hannah Dickinson, Andrew Feron, Martha Fischer, Ben Guthrie, Larry Hirschberger, Kevin Kunster, Stephen Marcus, Janet McCue, Victoria Rasmussen, Dianne Roe, Camille Tischler.

 

 

Comment Period Extended for Greenidge Power Plant

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Nov 142015
 
Good news! The comment period for the Greenidge power plant on Seneca Lake has been extended.
Sending in a comment is like voting: it shows our elected officials and our public agencies which direction public opinion is trending. Those who seek to refuel a decommissioned 1937 power plant with fracked gas and call it “environmentally beneficial” need to hear back from us.
Here is a quick report on this week’s Procedural Conference in Albany: Six Seneca Lake Defenders were present in Albany on November 10th: Sandra Steingraber, John Dennis, Bill Kitchen, Irene Weiser, Mary Beth Gamba, and Debb Guard. They were joined by Lindsay Speer and Rachel Treichler, an attorney with the Committee To Preserve The Finger Lakes.

Some of their conference highlights: Judge Michelle L. Phillips made no rulings and is taking everything under advisement. Comments from the public are encouraged and can be submitted for at least another week.

Rachel Treichler, along with John Dennis and Irene Weiser, raised important concerns and contested assertions by the applicant pertaining to public necessity, threats to drinking water, and whether or not the Greenidge plant is “mothballed” or “retired.”

A key point on which this project should be challenged is whether this is an existing power plant that is restarting, or a new source. Given that the former owners told NYSEG and the Public Service Commission that they were retiring the plant and planning on selling it for scrap, and the new owners are repowering with natural gas rather than coal, Rachel Treichler made a compelling argument that it should be treated as a new source. All evidence of the intentions and realities of the closing of the plant are valuable comments at this time.

1) Please submit individual written comments to the Public Service Commission. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended. We need to take this opportunity to express ourselves as a community and as a region. Feel free to use WASL’s comments as a leaping off point for your own.

Here’s how:

  • Address your comments to: The Honorable Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary Public Service Commission Three Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12223-1350
  • In the first paragraph, refer to these petition numbers: Case 15-E-0516 – Greenidge Generation, LLC; Case 15-G-0571 – Greenidge Pipeline, LLC and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corporation; Case 15-T-0586 – Greenidge Pipeline, LLC, and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corporation. All together, these ask for for lightened regulation, pipeline construction, and an expedited certificate of public convenience and necessity.
  • If you believe, as we do, that further hearings are necessary—as evidenced by the significant opposition to the public hearing in Dresden, which ran so late that many people had to leave before their names were called to speak—please say so.
  • State your view about whether the Public Service Commission should approve or deny the three petitions related to the repowering of the Greenidge plant and the related building of the 4.5-mile pipeline.
  • If you have any special expertise or background knowledge to offer, share it. If you rely on Seneca Lake as your drinking water source or breathe the air that blows over it, feel free to describe your relationship to the lake. If you are working to keep fossil fuels in the ground and promote renewable energy, talk about your efforts.
  • As always, be respectful, plain-spoken, and to the point.

Public Hearing for Dresden ‘Zombie’ Power Plant, Nov. 4, 2015

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Oct 302015
 

Just in time for Halloween, a decommissioned, coal-burning power plant north of Crestwood on Seneca Lake is being brought back to life, and plans are being laid to convert it to natural gas (methane). Calling all defenders to don their dress blues and attend a public hearing next Wednesday!

The old Greenidge (Dresden) Power Plant–located just 20 miles north of Crestwood’s gates and shuttered for four long years—may be repowered with natural gas. And, yes, this plant is connected by a series of pipelines to Crestwood’s Seneca Lake Methane Storage Facility. At the very least, if it is approved, it will create further demand in the region for natural gas.

The NY Public Service Commission will be holding an information session and public hearing next Wednesday on the proposal to repower the Dresden power plant on Seneca Lake.. We need all lovers of Seneca lake in attendance!

Please consider offering oral testimony. Or, just wear blue and show up. We need a showing of concerned citizens opposed to the further build-out of fracked-gas infrastructure in the Finger Lakes.

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Times:

6:00 PM Informational Forum

7:00 PM Public Statement

Hearing Location:

Dresden Fire House

3 Firehouse Avenue

Dresden, New York 14441

Lindsay Speer is working on creating talking points and will get them to those planning to attend early next week. Please let her know if you plan to speak by emailing her at lindsayspeer@gmail.com.

The proposal involves repowering the former coal power plant, which has been shuttered for four years, with natural gas. A pipeline will be built to connect the power plant to the Empire Connector pipeline, which in turn connects with the Millennium Pipeline in Corning. Crestwood’s methane storage operation is also connected to the Millennium Pipeline. This section of the Millennium and the Empire Connector pipelines can flow bi-directionally, depending on where the demand for natural gas is the greatest, which means that the power plant can create demand for gas stored at Seneca Lake.

We need to tell the Public Service Commission that fossil fuel power plants are not the future we want in New York.

Currently before the Public Service Commission are three petitions by the power plant’s owner. The relevant documents are linked to below for your own research.

CASE 15-E-0516

Petition of Greenidge Generation LLC for an Original Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and Lightened Regulation.

CASE 15-G-0571 – Petition of Greenidge Pipeline LLC and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corporation for an Expedited Original Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and for Incidental or Lightened Regulation.

CASE 15-T-0586 – Application by Greenidge Pipeline LLC; Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corporation to Construct a Fuel Gas Transmission Line, Containing Approximately 24,318 Feet of 8” Steel Pipeline, Located in the Towns of Milo and Torrey, Yates County.

Written comments will also be accepted if submitted by November 9.

28 Protestors Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Appeal to Pope Francis

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Sep 102015
 

28 Protesters Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Appeal to Pope Francis

Martha Hennessy—granddaughter of Catholic Worker Movement Founder, Dorothy Day—joins opposition to Seneca Lake gas storage as total number of arrests hits 400

Watkins Glen, NY – Just two weeks before Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, where he is widely expected to call for urgent action to protect the world’s environment, 28 people, led by local members of the Catholic Worker Movement, formed human chains shortly after sunrise this morning across both entrances of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14. Joining the protest was famed peace activist Martha Hennessy—the granddaughter of Catholic Worker co-founder and candidate for sainthood, Dorothy Day.

Today’s blockaders held banners that said, “Pope Francis, We Hear You” and “We Are Seneca Lake Caring for Our Common Home.”

As in previous blockades this summer, the protesters carried with them a seven-foot-tall replica of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on climate change, Laudato Si! On Care for Our Common Home, as they blocked trucks from entering or leaving.

Schuyler County deputies arrested the 28 shortly before 7:30 a.m. as they read from the Pontifical document. All but Hennessy were transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, charged with trespassing, and released. Hennessy was held briefly in custody, transported to the Town of Hector court where she was arraigned and released on bail at 11:00 a.m.

This blockade comes just three days after the Labor Day morning fire on Crestwood’s lakeshore property sent smoke billowing over the lake, alarming local residents, boaters, and tourists. The fire started in a generator that services Crestwood’s U.S. Salt plant.

The Catholic Worker Movement was founded by journalist Dorothy Day and social activist Peter Maurin in 1933. Its purpose is to “live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ.”

Delivering a statement on behalf of the group, blockader Martha Hennessy, 60, of Manhattan, said, ”The Pope has put his finger right on what we need to do to change direction. As it says in Laudato Si!, whatever issue affects one of us affects us all. Seneca Lake is one body of water that we all now have concerns about. Catholic Workers was founded in 1933, another time of ecological catastrophe, including the Dust Bowl. My grandmother witnessed all of that. She fed striking and unemployed workers. She understood that we are all the body of Christ. We are all one of another. That’s what I learned from her.”

Mark Scibilia-Carver, 61, a Catholic Worker from the Town of Ulysses in Tompkins County, said, “Pope Francis has issued a powerful reminder to people of all faiths that the Earth is a shared inheritance. Water and climate are ours to safeguard, not plunder. Our peaceful act of civil disobedience today—at the gates of a fossil fuel company that threatens our children’s drinking water with explosive gases—says that we are listening. A Papal Encyclical is the second-highest teaching authority in the Catholic Church. The Pope understands well the threats posed to our common home by entities like Crestwood. Catholics, in particular, need to act on what the Pope has said and oppose these threats.”

The total number of arrests in the nine-month-old civil disobedience campaign now stands at 400.

The We Are Seneca Lake movement opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns and has been ongoing since October 2014.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of Seneca Lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.

The 28 arrested today were:

Peggy Abbott, 64, Geneva, Ontario County

Shirley Barton, 67, Mecklenburg, Schuyler County

Richard Battaglia, 53, Richford, Tioga County

Robyn Bem, 64, Dryden, Tompkins County

Dan Burgevin, 68, Trumansburg, Tompkins County

Lyndsay Clark, 54, Springwater, Livingston County

Nancy J. Cook, 62, Painted Post, Steuben County

John Dennis, 65, Lansing, Tompkins

Josh Dolan, 38, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Tessa Sage Flores, 66, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Zan Gerrity, 64, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Lyn Gerry, 59, Watkins Glen, Schuyler County

Ira Goldstein, 65, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Martha Hennessy, 60, Manhattan, New York County

Gabrielle Illava, 26, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Margaret McCasland, 69, Lansing County

Barbara Pease, 69, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Mariah Plumlee, 36, Covert, Seneca County

Cynda Poley, 60, Elmira, Chemung County

Stephanie Redmond, 39, Enfield, Tompkins County

James Ricks, 65, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Todd Saddler, 50, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Laura Salamendra, 31, Geneva, Ontario County

Coby Schultz, 55, Springwater, Livingston County

Mark Scibilia-Carver, 62, Ulysses, Tompkins County

Barbara Smith, 61, Lodi, Seneca County

Ba Stopha, 70, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Ann Sullivan, 68, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Read more about the protesters at: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/seneca-lake-defendes/.

Read more about widespread objections to Crestwood’s gas storage plans: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/nyregion/new-york-winemakers-fight-gas-storage-plan-near-seneca-lake.html?_r=0.

Read Gannett’s investigative report about the risks and dangers of LPG gas storage: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2015/06/26/seneca-gas-storage-debated/29272421/.

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23, 2014, including a rally with more than 200 people onFriday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region.Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference on February 12th.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

As Our Conscience Leads Us

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Sep 102015
 

As Our Conscience Leads Us 9/10/15

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Beyond 350

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Aug 182015
 

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Eight Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Include Two From Schuyler County

 Press Kit  Comments Off on Eight Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Include Two From Schuyler County
Aug 132015
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 13, 2015

Media Contact: Sandra Steingraber | 607.351.0719

photos: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/encyclical-v/

video: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/video/

 

Eight Arrested in Civil Disobedience Blockade at Crestwood Include Two from Schuyler County

Rev. Felicity Wright of Elmira’s Park Church Leads Recitation of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change as Number of Total Arrests Hits 340

 

Watkins Glen, NY – In a peaceful act of civil disobedience against proposed gas storage, eight people from six different New York State counties, led by the Reverend Felicity Wright, pastor of the historic Park Church in Elmira and resident of Schuyler County, formed a human chain shortly after 7 a.m. this morning at the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14. They blocked all traffic entering and leaving the facility.

The eight were arrested by Schuyler County deputies at 7:37 a.m. as they read aloud from Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on climate change, “On Care for Our Common Home.” All were taken into custody, charged with trespassing and released.

Musician Ed Nizalowski of Newark Valley accompanied the reading on saxophone, playing “Amazing Grace” and “We Shall Overcome.” He was not arrested.

Immediately after their arrest, two large tanker trucks left the facility, with deputy cars assisting, and one large tanker entered.

The blockaders held banners that said “What Kind of World Do We Want to Leave…” “…For Those Who Come After Us?” which are lines from the Pope’s letter. Their recitation from the Pontifical document continued the reading that began on June 30 and has continued throughout the summer.

Today’s arrests bring the total number of arrests to 340 in the ten-month-old civil disobedience campaign.

None of the protesters this morning had been previously arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake movement, which opposes Crestwood’s plans for gas storage in lakeside salt caverns and which has been ongoing since October 2014.

The Reverend Felicity Wright, 67, of Elmira, said, “Many of the early writers and thinkers—both Jewish and Christian—celebrated “God in all things,” where God is found in all things on earth and in heaven. It was thrilling to learn that many of the greatest people of faith could recognize God in birds, flowers, shamrocks, rivers — and so much more. These natural gifts are not themselves divine, but they are representations of the divine, and God expects us to care for them as the treasures that they are. So, I am here to worship, treasure, and protect the God that lives in the Seneca Lake waters, the God that nourishes our bodies with pure refreshment, and the God that calls us to be divine agents for what is holy, good, and true.”

Claire Holzner, 50, of Watkins Glen in Schuyler County, said, “I live one block away from Seneca Lake. I can see the lake from my front yard, and I walk along her shoreline every day. The lake is the source of drinking water for me and my husband, a lifelong non-smoker with stage 4 lung cancer. Why should Crestwood have more say than we residents of this region about what happens here? The Encyclical says that safe drinking water is a basic human right. That statement has real meaning for us in Schuyler County.”

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last October in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of Seneca Lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.

Those arrested today were:

Fred Conner, 59, Freeville, Tompkins County

Barbara Deitz, 49, Rochester, Monroe County

Jim Gregoire, 46, Geneva, Ontario County

Claire Holzner, 50, Watkins Glen, Schuyler County

Donald Kitzel, 51 Brighton, Monroe County

Elizabeth Mozer, 54, Binghamton, Broome County

Frank Potter, 73, Big Flats, Chemung County

Felicity Wright, 67, Alpine, Schuyler County

 

Read more about the protesters at: http://www.wearesenecalake.com/seneca-lake-defendes/.

Read more about widespread objections to Crestwood’s gas storage plans: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/nyregion/new-york-winemakers-fight-gas-storage-plan-near-seneca-lake.html?_r=0.

Read Gannett’s investigative report about the risks and dangers of LPG gas storage: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2015/06/26/seneca-gas-storage-debated/29272421/.

Background on the protests:

Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since Thursday, October 23rd, including a rally with more than 200 people on Friday, October 24th. On Wednesday, October 29, Crestwood called the police and the first 10 protesters were arrested.  More information and pictures of the actions are available at www.WeAreSenecaLake.com.

The unified We Are Seneca Lake protests started on October 23rd because Friday, October 24th marked the day that major new construction on the gas storage facility was authorized to begin. The ongoing acts of civil disobedience come after the community pursued every possible avenue to stop the project and after being thwarted by an unacceptable process and denial of science. The protests are taking place at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station site on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes.

The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Crestwood has indicated that it intends to make Seneca Lake the gas storage and transportation hub for the northeast, as part of the gas industry’s planned expansion of infrastructure across the region.

*Note that the WE ARE SENECA LAKE protest is to stop the expansion of methane gas storage, a separate project from Crestwood’s proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project, which is on hold pending a Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Conference on February 12th.

As they have for a long time, the protesters are continuing to call on President Obama, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and Congressman Reed to intervene on behalf of the community and halt the dangerous project. In spite of overwhelming opposition, grave geological and public health concerns, Crestwood has federal approval to move forward with plans to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily halted plans to stockpile propane and butane (LPG) in nearby caverns—out of ongoing concerns for safety, health, and the environment—Crestwood is actively constructing infrastructure for the storage of two billion cubic feet of methane (natural gas), with the blessing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More background, including about the broad extent of the opposition from hundreds of wineries and more than a dozen local municipalities, is available on the We Are Seneca Lake website at http://www.wearesenecalake.com/press-kit/.

Encyclical V: 8 More Arrested At Crestwood

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Aug 132015
 

Photos From 8/13/2015

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