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LPG Storage Debate Continues

LPG Storage Debate Continues


WATKINS GLEN -- [WENY] Opponents met today to form a stretegy in their struggle for support from local leaders. Meanwhile, supporters say they're getting tired of the indecision.
     Last week, I reported that opponents of LPG were being supported by politicians in Seneca County. A Schuyler County legislator answered those calls with letters to the DEC urging the LPG project move forward at full speed.
     Some business owners disagree. "We bring in millions in tax revenue and employee thousands these are all really positive aspects of our industry it all stems around the natural beauty and that's why people like to come here," said Doug Hazlitt, of Hazlitt 1852 Vinyards.
     The battle over LPG storage is pitting wineries against wineries- and politicians against politicians. Some want it to push on, to bring more people to the area. While others say increased traffic will take a toll on the tourist industry.
     In a conference today, New Yorkers Against Fracking, Gas Free Seneca, Hazlitt 1852 Vinyards, and Earthjustice reiterated their concerns about using old salt caverns on Seneca Lake to store liquid gas.
     "It's a peaceful tranquil place certainly not a place where you would imagine your health and safely being at risk but if inergy's plans go through, i'm extremely worried for my health and safety," said Yvonne Taylor, of Gas Free Seneca.
     The Seneca County board of supervisors passed a resolution last night calling on the DEC to assist Inergy-Midstream to find somewhere else to store their gas.
     Schuyler County Legislator Phillip Barnes countered that move with a letter to DEC Comissioner, Joe Martens.
     In that letter, he also touts job creation and tax revenue, and questions the right of outside county leaders to get involved in a Schuyler County controversy.
      To which a Seneca County Supervisor, Stephen Churchill repliled "Seneca County has jurisdiction on half of Seneca Lake and we as a board, and as representatives of all the systems in Seneca County take our stewardship over Seneca County very seriously and will continue to do so in the future.
      Phil Barnes says moving forward with LPG storage would create more than 50 construction jobs through local vendors and suppliers, but opponents claim those jobs will be temporary.