Sides Polarizing Over Proposed N.Y. LPG Storage Site

A magenta sunset over Seneca Lake in New York. (image: p.csizmadia via flickr.com)

Lines have been drawn in the sand surrounding a potential propane storage site near Seneca Lake in New York. On one side is a national propane retailer, which has plans to stash 2.1 million barrels of propane in pre-existing salt caverns. On the other is a group of citizens that has raised concerns about potential public safety and aesthetic issues.

Inergy, the Missouri-based propane supplier, says there is no need for worry and that the caverns have been used for fuel storage since the mid-1960s. In mid-March, the company submitted a broad, 165-page environmental impact statement to New York, addressing specific questions about the potential affects on the environment, public safety, and aesthetics. If the statement is accepted, it will be subject to 30 days of public comment. If it is not, it will be returned to Inergy for corrections and additional information first.

Meanwhile, the a group calling itself Gas Free Seneca has voiced concerns about the contamination of Seneca Lake, the effects on tourism, and the potential for an earthquake to trigger a disaster at the site. The group has started an online petition opposing the project, which had 700 signatures this afternoon.

Both Inergy and Gas Free Seneca have scheduled info sessions to discuss the storage site next week.

Local media have put out several reports in recent weeks, including the Ithaca Journal, The (Corning) Leader, and a local NBC affiliate, WETM.

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