Crestwood abandons natural gas plan
READING--Crestwood Subsidiary, Arlington Storage Company is abandoning efforts to expand natural gas storage in unlined salt caverns near Seneca Lake. In its bi-weekly environmental compliance report, filed May 10 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Arlington stated it has "discontinued efforts" to complete the project. The report stated, "Despite its best efforts, Arlington has not been successful in securing long-term contractual commitments from customers that would support completion."
Crestwood, a Houston energy company, was trying to expand the Seneca Lake and Finger Lakes storage by proposing a project to store natural gas in unlined salt caverns under Seneca Lake. They first won approval from FERC in 2014. The company had been waiting on approval from New York state before starting construction.
Yvonne Taylor, vice president of Gas Free Seneca, stated, "This is a tremendous victory for the people of the region who have fought for years to protect Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes from industrialized gas storage. This ill-conceived plan has cast a shadow on the region's burgeoning tourist industry from the start, and today we celebrate our victory against Goliath."
"The admitted failure to secure customers establishes that there is no need for Arlington to expand," said attorney Deborah Goldberg of Earthjustice, who has been representing Gas Free Seneca. "We will be asking FERC to rescind its 2014 project approval, which rested on a plainly flawed finding that expansion was required by 'public convenience and necessity.' "
Joseph Campbell, President of Gas Free Seneca said, "This has been a long drawn out battle to protect a world class region from a Texas based oil and gas corporation. They only see dollar signs, where we see tranquil beauty, clean air, and fresh water." He added, "Crestwood should see the writing on the wall where 32 municipalities across the Finger Lakes region, representing 1.2 million residents are on record opposing gas storage on Seneca Lake, and they should withdraw their applications to store LPG in these unsafe salt caverns as well. They are clearly not wanted here."
Opposition to the storage project over the years included protests, civil disobedience and arrests. A large coalition of organizations, businesses, volunteer reporters, and others had joined forces to fight the project.
Crestwood maintains that despite abandoning this project, "demand for high-deliverability natural gas storage services remains robust in New York, as evidenced by the fully contracted status of Arlington's storage company affiliate Stagecoach Pipeline & Storage Company, LLC."
The withdrawal does not include liquid propane storage.