Thursday, July 5, 2018

Schuyler County Legislature considers rescinding Crestwood LPG storage facility support

The Schuyler County Legislature appears close to voting to rescind its prior support for an attempt to store liquefied propane gas in local salt mines, after reports that one of the caverns may have leaks.

The full legislature will consider on Monday (July 9), a resolution rescinding support of Finger Lakes LPG Storage’s liquid propane gas (LPG) storage facility project. Finger Lakes LPG Storage is a subsidiary of Crestwood Midstream Partners.

The resolution has already cleared the county’s Public Safety Committee, headed by legislator Van Harp, and its Legislative Resolution Review Committee, chaired by Dennis Fagan.

The resolution, as authored by Fagan, with assistance from the County Planning Department (Kristin VanHorn), County Attorney (Steven Getman), County Administrator (Tim O’Hearn), Emergency Management (Bill Kennedy) and Clerk of the Legislature (Stacy Husted), repeals the county’s support pending completion of future pressure testing and subsequent review and approval by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The proposed resolution comes after a May 17 letter to the DEC from lawyers representing Finger Lakes LPG Storage. In that letter, Kevin Bernstein, an attorney with Bond Schoeneck & King, asked the DEC to delay a final decision on the storage unit application until well pressure tests determine its suitability as a gas storage unit.

In 2014, the County Legislature voted five to three in support of the LPG storage plant, based on “submissions and compliance with all regulatory requests” that “minimized impacts to the maximum extent practicable and that the caverns to be used for LPG storage are well-suited for such use.” In 2016, after Crestwood scaled back its plans, the legislature reiterated that support, six votes to two.

In June, Toxics Targeting, a company that compiles information on toxic sites, released documents it claimed prove the DEC knew of, and failed to disclose, leakage concerns.

The July 9 meeting of the Schuyler County legislature is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm at the Schuyler County Courthouse, 105 Ninth Street, Watkins Glen, New York.

A complete copy of the draft resolution is below.