Rochester City Council backs opponents of Seneca Lake LPG facility


Rochester City Council members have thrown their support behind the local governments and businesses opposed to a proposed liquefied petroleum gas storage facility along Seneca Lake.

A subsidiary of Texas-based Crestwood Holdings, a fuel storage and transportation company, wants to store butane and propane in salt caverns owned by another of the company's subsidiaries, US Salt. The storage facility would be located on Routes 14 and 14A northwest of Watkins Glen, and would be used to store 88 million gallons of propane and butane. Crestwood needs a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to move forward with the project.

But the governments of more than a dozen counties, towns, cities, and villages along or near Seneca Lake have come out against the proposal. So have a slew of wineries and other businesses in that region. During a press conference this morning, representatives of some of the groups announced that they've filed to participate in an upcoming DEC issues conference. That proceeding is intended to help the department identify facts and disputed issues that it should address during its review of Crestwood's LPG storage application.

Today, City Council provided a letter of support to the Seneca Lake Municipal Coalition, a group of governments in the Seneca Lake region that oppose the project. The city relies on two Finger Lakes, Hemlock and Canadice, for its drinking water supplies and understands the Seneca Lake region governments' concerns that the Crestwood project could impact their drinking water supply, the letter says. Seneca Lake provides drinking water for approximately 100,000 people, including residents of the City of Geneva and the Village of Watkins Glen.

"The protection of drinking water sources and the natural resources provided by the Finger Lakes must be given highest priority during the environmental review and permitting process," says the City Council letter. "Proposals with an unacceptable level of risk should not be permitted."

Rochester City Council Letter of Support