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Thanks For All Your Kind Words/Check Out an Excruciatingly Detailed After-Action Report on the Crestwood Gas Storage Battles in Reading, NY


I am grateful to all the Fractivists who contacted Toxics Targeting to say kind things about the latest chapter in our campaign to stop infrastructure projects that would perpetuate New York's fossil fuel addiction. Thanks to everyone who is helping to safeguard our state. It is a privilege to work with so many sophisticated activists.

In response to many questions, I am pleased to provide an after-action report of the critical role that our campaign just played in killing the proposed Finger Lakes/Crestwood Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facility. I will also explain how we helped to bring about the demise of the expansion of the Arlington Methane Gas Storage operation last year.

These landmark infrastructure victories have made our campaign all the more formidable. I can assure you that we will exploit the precedents set by big these wins.

Why Killing Two Major Fossil Fuel Gas Storage Projects Proposed in Reading, NY is Critically Important to New York's Public Health and Environment

The bottom line is that we inflicted yet another strategic blow to the fracked gas industry's efforts to transport massive quantities of fossil fuels from Pennsylvania through Upstate New York to regional markets in downstate New York, New England and Canada. That is a monumental achievement.

I invite you to read Crestwood's own description of its gas storage and transmission plan for the Reading, NY site: Further Enhancing Connectivity to the Northeast Natural Gas Market

As you can see below and from this Crestwood NE Natural Gas Storage and Transport Assets Map, the proposed gas storage projects at the 576-acre Crestwood site would have been connected to the Dominion and Millennium interstate pipelines that transport fracked gas from thousands of production wells in Pennsylvania.

If you look closely, Crestwood's map illustrates the stunning contrast between massive shale fracking in PA and not one fracked gas production well anywhere in New York. This is a testament to our successful efforts to keep our state 100% shale frack-free. At least so far.

Fortunately for Pennsylvanians, every fossil fuel infrastructure project that we kill in New York exacerbates the glut of fracked gas in PA. When fracked gas in the Keystone State cannot be transported to lucrative markets, there are fewer financial incentives to frack. That is why PA's fracking boom has gone bust.

How Our Campaign Helped Protect Seneca Lake from Additional Fossil Fuel Storage Hazards

Since 2015, our campaign has implemented a laser-focused strategy to stop Governor Cuomo from granting any state regulatory approvals essential for massive fossil fuel infrastructure projects to proceed in New York.

Beginning two years ago, we began to bring brutal pressure to bear on the Governor to make sure that he did not issue New York State gas storage permits required by both Crestwood projects. This strategy ultimately killed both proposed storage facilities.

Toxics Targeting generated sustained, hard-hitting media coverage by documenting dozens of uncontrolled contamination releases at the Crestwood facility which repeatedly polluted Seneca Lake. We revealed years of regulatory non-compliance, historic "oil padding" problems and, most recently, salt cavern leakage concerns.

We hammered home that Governor Cuomo must not issue new fossil fuel infrastructure regulatory approvals given New York's deplorable enforcement record: Crestwood Gas Storage Campaign to Protect Seneca Lake

We garnered more than 1,200 signatories for our: Coalition Letter Which Requests That Governor Cuomo Adopt a Statewide Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Project Approvals

We also worked closely with leading New York State Legislators in both houses: Legislators Sign-on Letter Requests That Governor Cuomo Adopt Statewide Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Project Approvals

Various groups noted that they had taken legal action to stop the Crestwood LPG facility. Not to be disrespectful in any way, but it is a matter of record that those legal and procedural challenges failed year after year to kill either the LPG or the methane gas storage projects. See below.

How the Proposed Expansion of Crestwood's Arlington Methane Gas Storage Facility Was Killed

Long before Toxics Targeting launched a campaign to halt Crestwood's proposed gas storage projects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the proposed expansion of its Arlington Methane Gas Storage project circa 2014 despite hundreds of comments in opposition, legal intervention and various expert consultants opining to no avail.

FERC's decision documents the grim reality that almost all regulatory challenges brought by environmental groups fail. Enviros assert that the project is unsafe and FERC determines that legal requirements have been fulfilled. It is as simple as that.

I invite you to read how FERC rejected each and every one of the environmental concerns voiced in this complex matter: Arlington Storage Company, LLC Docket No. CP13-83-000

Fortunately, despite FERC's approval the expansion of the Arlington gas storage project could not proceed without a New York State gas storage permit. Our campaign focused on making sure that Governor Cuomo could not grant that permit. We succeeded until the proposed project collapsed circa May 2017.

How the Proposed Finger Lakes/Crestwood LPG Project Was Killed

No FERC approval was required for the proposed Finger Lakes/Crestwood LPG facility. New York had sole authority to decide whether to grant a gas storage permit.

Once again, environmental opponents failed to halt the proposed project through a lengthy and complex legal proceeding which ended last September when DEC determined: "Other than the issue of alternative sites, which remains open, petitioners have failed to raise any issues under ECL article 23 or SEQRA requiring adjudication (emphasis added)."

Enviros were appealing DEC's rejection of all their concerns as the agency continued to consider the gas storage permit application: Finger Lakes LPG Storage, LLC - Ruling of the Chief ALJ on Issues and Party Status, September 8, 2017

Our campaign executed a different strategy. Six weeks after Toxics Targeting documented DEC's scandalous failure to require comprehensive investigation of salt cavern leakage concerns reported to the agency circa 2011, the Finger Lakes/Crestwood LPG project was killed.

Mere days after the Schuyler County Legislature withdrew its support for the proposed project and Governor Cuomo got lambasted by your powerful personalized emails, he finally fulfilled our request that he DENY the gas storage permit required for the proposed LPG project.

This decision was made nearly two years after we first requested that he DENY the requisite gas storage permit. If the Governor had been even remotely inclined to fulfill our request earlier on, he would have done so long ago.


It is extremely hard to halt major fossil fuel infrastructure projects such as transmission pipelines, giant gas storage facilities or huge fracked gas power plants. From coast to coast, an unprecedented fracked oil and gas infrastructure build-out is underway that will perpetuate addiction to fossil fuels for decades to come, including in Downstate New York.

Here in Upstate New York, however, our highly sophisticated data research, policy advocacy, coalition building and media outreach campaign is breaking new ground to strangle gas and oil production and minimize energy demand. With luck, we will eventually expand our successful efforts all over our state.

Our hard-working campaign has now played a key role in prohibiting shale fracking and killing nearly $5.0 Billion in proposed fossil fuel infrastructure projects. In addition, the end of our state's fossil fuel production could soon be in sight after causing irreparable pollution hazards for nearly two centuries.

As a result, relentlessly hard-hitting New York Fractivists are safeguarding Upstate New York and shaping America's energy future in profound ways.

In conclusion, our strategy to pressure Governor Cuomo to adopt a moratorium on all state fossil fuel infrastructure project approvals must dog him in the months to come. He must also face Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Legacy Toxic Site clean up requests from one end of New York to the other.

More about that shortly.

Thank you all so much.

Onward and upward.