August 11, 2014: Based on extensive public interest regarding a proposal to construct and operate an underground facility for storage and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the Town of Reading, Schuyler County, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced that an issues conference will be scheduled through DEC’s Office of Hearings to determine if there are any significant and substantive issues that require an adjudicatory hearing.
Participation in the issues conference would involve DEC staff, the applicant, and any individual or group that has filed a petition for party status. The schedule for the issues conference, as well as the filing petitions for party status, will be set by an administrative law judge in the near future.
Finger Lakes LPG Storage, LLC, c/o Inergy Midstream LLC, has proposed to construct and operate a new underground LPG storage facility for the storage and distribution of propane and butane on a portion of a 576-acre site located on NYS Routes 14 and 14A west of Seneca Lake in the Town of Reading. The storage facility would utilize existing caverns in the Syracuse salt formation created by US Salt and its predecessors’ salt production operations.
DEC will not grant a permit unless it can be demonstrated that the permit is in compliance with all legal requirements and that the proposed activity can be done safely in New York State.
This decision does not necessarily indicate a “win” for opponents of the storage facility. The Admin. Law Judge doesn’t often side with residents, based on previous such hearings in Chemung County. In this case, it is buying time, but Crestwood continues to work at the site. Indeed, there is a fast evolving effort to initiate a compressor on Crestwood property that is connected to the recent FERC approval around increasing methane gas storage in recently drilled (without FERC approval) wells 30A and 31A. On August 12, one day after the DEC hearing announcement, Arlington Storage Company, LLC (subsidiary of Crestwood) requested that the Director of the Office of Energy Projects (“OEP”) grant it clearance to commence construction of the Gallery 2 Expansion Project.