Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Minor Earthquake Causes Major Concerns
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
WATKINS GLEN -- (WENY) Concerns are piling up for opponents of liquid gas storage on Seneca Lake. According to the US Geological Survey, there was a 2.0 magnitude earthquake about 12 miles from the salt caverns proposed to store liquid gas by Inergy Midstream. Now, opponents of LPG storage are using the earthquake to fuel their argument.
"This earthquake, even though it was a small one occurred on the west side of Seneca Lake not to far from where they want to store the gas in these caverns," said Joseph Campbell of Gas Free Seneca.
However, Cornell University Earth and Atmospheric Sciences chair Larry Brown compares the 2.0 magnitude earthquake to the feeling of a big truck driving by.
"There's some questions of what might have caused it to occur, like the other rare ones that occur here, but I don't think these statistically represent any kind of threat," says Brown.
He says the likelihood that it would reoccur is very small.
"The situation is that the risk may be small but the consequences could be disastrous if the gas migrated and came into someone's home and the house blew up," says Campbell.
In a statement sent to WENY-HD News, Inergy-Midstream says:
"Safety is our number one priority. The company's plans and procedures are designed to safeguard human health and the environment, and our employees are prepared to respond promptly to all types of unplanned events."
Professor Brown says small earthquakes like this one may have happened in the past, and they just weren't recorded.
He says information from people who felt the earth shake is very important and encourages people to fill out a survey called "did you feel it" on USGS.gov