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Crestwood drops Seneca Lake natural gas storage plans


Protesters block the gate at the Crestwood Midstream facility on Seneca Lake earlier this year.

Arlington Storage Co., a subsidiary of Crestwood Midstream Partners, is abandoning controversial plans to expand natural gas storage in salt caverns along Seneca Lake.

Opponents of the plan are hailing the decision as a major victory, but Crestwood still plans to move ahead with liquid propane gas (LPG) storage in salt caverns.

"Despite its best efforts, Arlington has not been successful in securing long-term contractual commitments from customers that would support completion of the Gallery 2 Expansion Project," Arlington wrote in a compliance report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. "Accordingly, Arlington has discontinued efforts to complete the Gallery 2 Expansion Project."

Seneca Lake gas storage: safety, environment concerns

LPG would be moved by rail daily over Watkins Glen Park

Numerous municipalities have gone on record opposing Crestwood's gas storage plans, and hundreds of residents have gone to court to face trespassing and other charges after protests outside Crestwood's facility in the Schuyler County Town of Reading.

Many of those charges have been dismissed for lack of evidence.

A group representing New York winemakers also has spoken out against Crestwood's natural gas plans.

“This is a tremendous victory for the people of the region who have fought for years to protect Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes from industrialized gas storage," said Yvonne Taylor, vice president of Gas Free Seneca. "This ill-conceived plan has cast a shadow on the region’s burgeoning tourist industry from the start, and today we celebrate our victory against Goliath.”

Crestwood is proposing to store liquid propane gas in caverns created from salt mining along Seneca Lake. (Photo: FILE PHOTO)

Gas Free Seneca also plans to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to rescind its approval of Crestwood's LPG storage project.

“Crestwood should see the writing on the wall where 32 municipalities across the Finger Lakes region, representing 1.2 million residents, are on record opposing gas storage on Seneca Lake, and they should withdraw their applications to store LPG in these unsafe salt caverns as well," said Gas Free Seneca President Joseph Campbell. "They are clearly not wanted here.”

Crestwood officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.