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WATKINS GLEN --[WENY] A letter from a Louisiana engineer is causing a stir in Schuyler County. 
     You may remember, we reported US Salt plugged and abandoned a salt cavern based on a report by Consulting Engineer Larry Sevenker back in 2001. Since then, a Kansas City energy company designated the same well for liquid gas storage.  Now, the engineer seems to be re-canting his original findings.  The DEC has the final say in issuing a permit for gas storage, but this letter could be a tipping point.
     Inergy-Midland has been relatively mute about LPG storage on Seneca Lake. Now, their PR company has released a letter dated January 15th. It appears to be from the Consulting Engineer Larry Sevenker. He says: it doesn't appear that a roof collapse happened in 2001 and his initial assessment was wrong.
     The letter states recent sonar images provided by US Salt show the cavern roof never collapsed and is structurally sound
     Sevenker has not returned Our calls.  Opponents of the gas storage plan are skeptical.
     "Well in 2001 he said it did collapse, and he stated unequivocally that the cavern was filled with rubble, when the roof collapsed during a seismic event," said Joseph Campbell of Gas Free Seneca.
     The Chairman of the Schuyler County Legislature supports safe gas storage.
     "In this day and age where economic conditions are what they are, a potential $40 millionr project would certainly help our tax base," said Dennis Fagan.
     Opponents issues with the plan go beyond questions of safety.
     "Despite whether it's safe or not I think it's a bad idea, this area is known for recreation, it's known for tourism, bed and breakfasts, wineries, agriculture. It's not known for industrial gas storage," said Campbell.
    
"The traffic will generally occur around this time of the year, in the winter, when the people are using propane and their extracting the propane from the storage facility," said Fagan.
     Click on the PDF link below to see Inergy's Attorney's letter to the DEC,and Seveker's letter recanting hsi original findings. .

 

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