WGFD Grossly Unprepared for Crestwood Emergency

Jeremy Weir Alderson, editor and publisher of the No Frack Almanac, today
released a special report on the preparedness of the Watkins Glen Fire
Department to combat potential emergencies related to the proposed expansion
of the Crestwood gas-storage facility in Reading, NY.

Some highlights of the report:

  • Only nine members of the WGFD are qualified to take offensive action to extinguish a hazmat fire.
  • The WGFD has never exchanged a single piece of correspondence with Crestwood on any subject and has never corresponded with anyone anywhere about the potential dangers of salt-cavern gas storage.
  • The WGFD does not have in its possession a map of the Crestwood facility or a diagram of the shut-off valves for the part of the facility that is already operational, as would be required by standard firefighting practice.
  • Though the Schuyler County Emergency Services assure the public that they do “Comprehensive all hazards pre-disaster planning” and “Pre-disaster mitigation planning,” when it comes to Crestwood, they can present no evidence that they have done any such planning at all.
  • In response to a Freedom-of Information Law request covering the past five years, the WGFD could not produce a single document from Crestwood listing the hazardous materials it has on site, even though, according to New York law (NY.GMU.LAW 209u), such documents are supposed to be filed annually.
  • The WGFD admits to having taken $15,000 ? of which at least $10,000 was solicited from Crestwood (and its predecessor company, Inergy), but claims to have no record of those transactions and, thus, can present no evidence that that’s all they took.

“Would Smokey Bear take contributions from the Carelessly Thrown Match
Association?” asks Alderson.  “Based on the evidence that the WGFD, itself,
provided, the WGFD’s’s stated position that it is prepared to handle
possible Crestwood emergencies is simply untrue.  These types of facilities
are accident prone, and the people who are supposed to protect us are
endangering us and themselves instead.”

The full report can be accessed at:  http://www.nofrackalmanac.com

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