The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is rejecting a proposal to put a controversial gas storage facility on the shore of Seneca Lake.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos is denying the proposal by Crestwood Midstream Partners to build an underground liquefied petroleum gas (propane) storage facility in abandoned salt mines in Watkins Glen.
Seggos denied the permit on the grounds the facility would have a significant adverse impact on community character in that Finger Lakes region. Seggos also reviewed resolutions adopted by local municipalities opposed to the project, and the area’s development of tourism, the wine industry and agriculture as economic drivers.
Seggos also cited concerns about the integrity of caverns at the site as well as the need for the facility.
One of the groups opposed to the facility, Gas Free Seneca called the news “a huge victory for a coalition of residents, local elected officials, and business owners who have long fought to protect Seneca Lake and their regional economy, at times attracting national media attention for their cause.”
Joseph Campbell is president and co-founder of the group.
"We were able to get 32 municipalities across the Finger Lakes region passing resolutions opposing this project, representing 1.2 million New York residents; we have almost 500 businesses, and coalitions opposed to this project," Campbell said.
Campbell hopes the rejection of the application by Crestwood will discourage other corporations from planning "inappropriate" facilities for the Finger Lakes, like a proposed trash incinerator project in Seneca County.
"These predatory corporations should take this as a warning sign," He said.
Crestwood has previously defended the project, saying it would help the propane supply in the northeast. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Earlier this week, the Schuyler County legislature voted to rescind its earlier support for the project.
Crestwood has defended the project, saying it would help the propane supply in the northeast.