PLEDGE TO PROTECT SENECA LAKE
Because I know–
• that Seneca Lake is the largest body of fresh water wholly contained within the New York State, creates a climate perfectly suited for the growing of wine grapes, is a world-class tourist destination and serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people;
• that Houston-based Crestwood Midstream plans to store highly pressurized natural gas (methane) and liquefied petroleum gases (butane and propane, also known as LPG) in abandoned salt caverns near the lake;
• that old, unlined salt caverns are dangerous vessels for the storage of flammable gases (as was illustrated in Hutchinson, Kansas when salt cavern-stored natural gas leaked through subterranean fissures and fractures and caused deadly explosions seven miles away) and can also be structurally unstable (as was illustrated by the 1994 collapse of a salt cavern in Livingston County, New York, in a calamity that created sinkholes, methane-contaminated basements, and a permanently poisoned drinking water aquifer );
• that Seneca Lake caverns are vulnerable to roof collapses that could allow pressurized gases to escape, as is evidenced by the 400,000-ton roof collapse that has already occurred in a Seneca Lake salt cavern now slated by Crestwood for natural gas storage;
• that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, over the strenuous objections of citizens and independent geologists, nevertheless approved Crestwood’s natural gas storage expansion plan in May 2014;
• that on August 11, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) called a temporary halt to Crestwood’s plans to stockpile LPG in the Seneca Lake salt caverns by announcing a special Issues Conference to investigate ongoing health, safety, and environmental concerns of lakeside gas storage here;
• that one day later, on August 12, Crestwood outrageously announced a plan to commence construction of a compressor station to pressurize natural gas for underground storage in salt caverns ;
• that dozens of winery and business owners from the Finger Lakes region have traveled to Albany to urge Governor Cuomo to express opposition to BOTH natural gas and LPG storage on the grounds that they are an industrial menace to the tourism and wine industry;
• that, dozens of Schuyler County health care professionals have called for a halt to BOTH natural gas and LPG storage in these salt caverns on the grounds that they raise unacceptable risks of catastrophic accidents, injuries; and contaminated water and air.
• that it is a cynical shell game to move forward with the storage of one type of pressurized gas even while DEC has issued a cease and desist order on the storage of another type.
• that Crestwood is a dangerous intruder in our community, willing to flout the will of residents in flagrant disregard for our security and wellbeing, in order to build out the infrastructure for fracking;
Hence, I pledge– to join with others in this region and elsewhere to engage in peaceful, nonviolent acts of protest, up to and including civil disobedience, until additional storage of LPG and methane in Seneca Lake salt caverns is halted. I make this pledge to ensure the protection of Seneca Lake, which nourishes the vitality and enjoyment of the communities surrounding it; to prevent the destruction and poisoning of water, air, and food systems on which safety, health, and economic prosperity of our communities–and those of future generations—all depend. My abiding concern for the health and safety of my community compels me to take this action.