“It is now time for Governor Cuomo to show true leadership and cement his environmental legacy by denying Crestwood’s proposal to allow liquid gas storage on Seneca Lake.”

~Joseph Campbell, of Gas Free Seneca

The scales are tipping in favor of Seneca Lake property owners, local businesses, and municipalities that have opposed development of a natural gas storage facility on Seneca Lake’s west side.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has vacated the certificate it issued for the development of a natural gas storage facility in the Town of Reading.

Arlington Storage Company had filed the request with FERC to vacate the certificate on Aug. 17.

An order issued Dec. 21 by FERC Deputy Secretary Nathaniel J. Davis Sr. says the commission granted Arlington the certificate on May 15, 2014 which authorized the conversion of two interconnected bedded salt caverns previously used for liquified petroleum gas storage to natural gas storage.

The 2014 order required Arlington to complete and place all of the Gallery 2 Project’s facilities in service by May 15, 2016. On May 15, 2016, the commission granted Arlington an extension to May 15, 2018 to complete the construction and place all authorized facilities in service, but Arlington filed the August request to vacate the certificate.

Joseph Campbell, president of Gas Free Seneca, the group that has opposed the project, released the statement in response to the order:

“This is an important step forward in ensuring the future of the Finger Lakes region and Seneca Lake is bright and free of corporations looking to exploit it. The salt caverns along Seneca Lake are not equipped to store any form of gas, and pose a dangerous threat to the region’s environment and public safety.”

 “It is now time for Governor Cuomo to show true leadership and cement his environmental legacy by denying Crestwood’s proposal to allow liquid gas storage on Seneca Lake,” Campbell added.

Crestwood Midstream Partners is still proposing to store LPG in the salt mines through its Finger Lakes LPG Storage company. Crestwood is selling its US Salt plant, which sits directly on the shore of Seneca Lake, to the Kissner Group for $225 million, but is keeping the Gallery 2 mines.

In September, State Department of Environmental Conservation Chief Administrative Law Judge James McClymonds ruled that DEC officials have all the information they need to make a decision on state permits for the LPG storage project.

The Gas Free Coalition is appealing that decision.

FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. Commissioners review proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines, and issue licenses for hydropower projects.