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Finger Lakes In Fracked Gas Crosshairs - Fighting To Save Seneca Lake


by Leslie Gabriel December 29, 2015

We Are Seneca Lake is truly alarmed at what Crestwood is proposing to do to Seneca Lake, the largest Finger Lake in New York State.

We Are Seneca Lake the leading citizen-based, grassroots campaign that works to protect Seneca Lake - from gas storage expansion by Texas-based energy company, Crestwood Midstream.

Crestwood’s intention is to repurpose the crumbling salt mines underneath Seneca Lake’s hillside into massive, unlined gas tanks for three highly pressurized products of fracking: methane (natural gas), and propane and butane (LPG, or Liquefied Petroleum Gases) and to turn the Finger Lakes into a fracked gas transportation and storage hub for the entire Northeast.

Quiet, natural, relaxing -- these are all words that have been used countless times to describe Seneca Lake. Fishing, sailing and swimming are just a few of the popular activities that are enjoyed out on Seneca Lake. Not only does the entire community rely on Seneca Lake as a source of recreation and relaxation and some of the best wineries in the world, they also depend on it to provide drinking water for 100,000 in the region. 

Many people in the surrounding communities of Seneca Lake have fought tooth an nail to make sure that the Crestwood plan does not come to fruition. Civil disobedience has played a large part in the struggle of We Are Seneca Lake.

There have been marches, rallies, and even arrests with the growing legion of Seneca Lake Defenders.

There are hundreds of Seneca Lake Defenders. They have a growing folk hero status. They are using nonviolent civil disobedience to stand up against Crestwood. 454 arrests have been made at the gates of Crestwood since the We Are Seneca Lake campaign began. 352 different Seneca Lake Defenders have been arrested. In addition, at least 144 Seneca Lake Defenders have successfully blockaded for an entire day without being arrested

If Crestwood succeeds in its bid to store leftover liquefied petroleum gases in the salt caverns that lie under this beloved home and vacation spot, it is likely to change this area of New York forever.

Possible side effects of the fracked gas industrialization plan can include:

  • Increased Truck Traffic
  • Increased Train Traffic
  • Possible Explosions
  • Possible Poisonings Of Water 
  • Possible Poisonings Of Air

It is possible that one day it will closely resemble what present day Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley region of California is currently experiencing. For over two months, a methane gas has been pumped -- unabated -- into the atmosphere as the result of a methane gas leak in Porter Ranch. As of this writing, over 5,500 families are in some stage of the relocation process. 

Through the grassroots effort, citizen activists of We Are Seneca Lake is determined to avoid having this viable and diverse setting of Seneca Lake turned into another Porter Ranch. By utilizing outdated methods that are not engineered to support the complex issues that are raised when storing these fracked gases, Crestwood is putting its profits ahead of the well-being of the people and animals that rely on Seneca Lake -- as well as Seneca Lake itself. 

Even if Crestwood decided to take advantage of today's modern technology and provide protective linings to help contain the harmful excess gas, this is not likely to prevent another accident like Porter Ranch from occurring. As Scientific America noted in late 2014, the San Juan Basin, in New Mexico, topped the country's list of leakiest areas of methane gas. While some parts of the affected area were already spewing its harmful fumes, fracking -- which brings with it a high degree of volatility -- and only sets the stage for a possible catastrophic explosion. 

Is this something that water lovers want for Seneca Lake? Do we want the Finger Lakes region of New York to become turn the Finger Lakes into a fracked gas transportation and storage hub for the entire Northeast.? We think not !!!

 




Leslie Gabriel
Leslie Gabriel

Author



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