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Groups prepare for DEC meeting Feb. 12 ADVERTISEMENT

Groups prepare for DEC meeting Feb. 12

FINGER LAKES--Four separate entities announced filings for party status and amicus briefs (friend of the court) as part of the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Issues Conference on a proposed Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage project Friday, Jan. 16. The groups wish to attend the issues conference, slated for Feb. 12 in Horseheads, to oppose the project. The four groups include the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA); a group representing 12 municipalities throughout the Finger Lakes Region; Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition, consisting of more than 100 wineries and related businesses (FLXWBC) and Gas Free Seneca, a grassroots coalition residents and more than 260 local businesses.
All parties are seeking denial of the DEC's permit to Texas-based Crestwood Midstream for its proposed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility, citing economic, health and environmental reasons as to why no permit should be issued. Parties announced their petition to participate in an adjudicatory hearing, seeking full party status or filing an amicus brief.
All parties will present supporting materials and legal issues at the issues conference, where an adjudicatory law judge will determine whether a full adjudicatory hearing is warranted, and if so, who will be given party status at the hearing.
Expert witnesses have been obtained by each party and will present their arguments at the issues conference Feb. 12 in Horseheads.
Among SLPWA's experts will be Professor of Geological Engineering at the University of Illinois Dr. Alberto S. Nieto and Geologist Dr. Raymond Vaughan. They claim the caverns the storage is proposed to take place in lack the structural integrity to store gas due to faults located near the site. The municipalities have obtained pro bono legal representation from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Gas Free Seneca has representation from Earthjustice. The FLXWBC and SLPWA have also retained legal counsel.

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