Following information and a request for a resolution of support from the Gas Free Seneca organization which opposes LP and natural gas storage expansion in abandoned salt caverns under Seneca Lake north of Watkins Glen, the Milo Town Board invited a representative from Crestood Energy to present their side of the argument.
Monday, Sept. 15 at the monthly town board meeting, Barry Moon of Crestwood LPG laid out the history, scope, and planned future of gas storage in Steuben, Cortland, and Schuyler counties. He stated that 80 percent of the gas brought to and from the salt cavern under Seneca Lake would be by pipeline – the safest means of transport – with the remainder by truck or train. He also stated that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the caverns for gas storage.
Gas Free Seneca contends that ceiling collapses in the caverns prove their instability, and argue that the proximity to Seneca Lake’s fresh water makes the risk of leaks from further fracturing under the pressure of the gas and contamination from salt brine storage ponds too great.
After consideration, the board’s consensus was to take no position on either side, with Supervisor Leslie Church saying she would not support a resolution against the storage plan, and board member Dale Hallings saying he believes this to be a decision for the N.Y. State Dept. of Environmental Conservation.
The Yates County Legislature is considering a similar recent request from Gas Free Seneca. Last year, the legislature discussed passing a resolution opposing the development, but ended up sending a letter of concern to state officials. A number of wineries around Seneca Lake oppose the project.
The DEC has announced plans to hold an issues conference before an administrative law judge. No date has been set.
Other agenda items:
• Budget Workshop A special meeting for the budget workshop was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 8.
• Highway: Declared a 2010 Ford F-250 4x4 pickup truck to be be surplus, and authorized its sale by municipal or online auction as the Highway Superintendent sees fit.
Work on Hall Road is finished, and the new Willow Road to the Penn Yan Wastewater Treatment Plant is complete.
A 25x40 lean-to addition was approved for the town barns, and the request for proposals will be published.
• Town Hall: A new furnace and air conditioning system was installed in the town hall to replace the original system which was too old to obtain parts any longer. The final cost was $8,585.
• Sustainable Keuka Lake: While the Town of Milo as a body will not respond to the 2014 Keuka Lake Survey, the board encourages all residents within the Keuka Lake watershed to participate in the survey, available at www.stcplanning.org/index.asp?pageId=208.
• Wastewater: Authorized the town attorney to begin legal action against a non-compliant property owner on Stiles Road.