New York LPG Storage Proposal Faces Local Scrutiny

Lake Seneca, in upstate New York, sits near a proposed propane-storage site. (image:

With an environmental impact review pending on a proposed propane storage site outside Watkins Glen, NY, folks in the area are meeting on Thursday to ask questions about the project. It’s the latest hurdle for the project, which still requires regulatory approval, but could offer a solution to some of the region’s supply issues.

A little background. Finger Lakes LPG Storage, a subsidiary of the major retailer lnergy, wants to store 2.1 million barrels of propane in the salt caverns near the town of Reading. It’s a move that could strengthen the slim East Coast supplies. In mid-January, the inventory for the whole region — which stretches from Maine to Florida — was 3.1 million barrels. The Midwest had 20 million barrels. In addition, the site is close to the Watkins Glen terminal on the Teppco propane pipeline, a major supply artery for the Northeast. All of which will appeal to the region’s propane dealers and customers.

But before any propane goes in the ground, the local Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requested an impact statement on the effects of the storage site on the nearby Lake Seneca and lands. As part of the review, the project is open to questions and comments from the public through the end of the month. At Thursday’s info session, two presenters will offer their takes on the proposal Thursday — including a reporter who owns a house on the lake.

So which way do the winds blow in Lake Seneca?

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