Plan Withdrawn to Store Natural Gas under Seneca Lake but LPG Storage is Proposed

by Duane Nichols on May 12, 2017

No LPG Storage Under Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen, NY

Crestwood backs out of natural gas storage plan — Withdrawal does not include liquid propane storage

From an Article by David L. Shaw, Finger Lakes Times, May 11, 2017

READING — Arlington Storage Company, a subsidiary of Crestwood Midstream, has abandoned its plan to expand natural gas storage in unlined salt caverns on the west shore of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County.

The dropping of the plan was including in Arlington’s bi-weekly environmental compliance report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington.

“Despite its best efforts, Arlington Storage Company has not been successful in securing long-term contractual commitments from customers that would support completion of the Gallery 2 Expansion Project,” the company said in its statement with FERC.

“While demand for high deliverability natural gas storage services remains robust in New York, bids for firm storage capacity which Arlington has received from time to time are not adequate to support the investment required to bring the project to completion,” it stated.

“Accordingly, Arlington has discontinued efforts to complete the Gallery 2 Expansion Project.”

The news was well received by opponents of the project, such as Gas Free Seneca. “This is a victory for the people of the region who have fought for years to protect Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes from industrialized gas storage,” said Yvonne Taylor, vice president of Gas Free Seneca.

“This ill-conceived plan has cast a shadow on the region’s burgeoning tourism industry from the start and today we celebrate our victory against Goliath,” Taylor said in a press release.

Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, has been representing Gas Free Seneca in its fight.

She said she will ask FERC to rescind its 2014 project approval. “The admitted failure to secure customers establishes that there is no need for Arlington to expand,” Goldberg said.

Joseph Campbell, president of Gas Free Seneca, said Crestwood ”should see the writing on the wall” and withdraw its pending application to store liquid propane in salt caverns as well as the natural gas storage plan.

Crestwood owns a 576-acre site on Route 14 a few miles north of Watkins Glen.

In August 2010, FERC authorized Arlington to acquire a depleted natural gas production field in Reading and develop it for operation as the Seneca Lake Storage Project.

The facility is connected to two interstate gas pipelines.

On May 15, 2014, FERC gave Arlington the go-ahead to expand the project by connecting two interconnected salt caverns previously used for LPG storage, increasing the facility’s capacity from 1.45 to 2 billion cubic feet.

That order require the expansion to be constructed and put in service by May 15, 2016.

In January 2016, Arlington requested a two-year extension. They told FERC it has not proceeded because the state Department of Environmental Conservation had not acted on its application for an underground storage permit. When filing for an extension, Arlington officials noted the DEC cannot issue the permit until it has received a report from the state geologist.

The state had no one in that position at the time.

Gas Free Seneca appealed the May 16, 2016 decision by FERC to allow the two year extension.

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