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FINGER LAKES   ADVERTISEMENT

Inergy gas project supporters speak up

FINGER LAKES—Area supporters of the proposed Inergy $40 million gas storage project are speaking up.
Locally, supporters of the plan to allow and expand liquid and natural gas storage in Reading, include Schuyler County Legislature Chairperson Dennis Fagan and Legislator Phil Barnes.
Fagan said he trusts the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to review the liquid gas storage and transfer station proposal. If the state gives its approval, Fagan said he is in favor of the project.
He added it will benefit the county and he does not feel it is an environmental threat. Fagan explained the construction of the facility will provide some 50 jobs and another eight to 10 permanent jobs once completed. He also said it will increase sales tax revenue. Fagan explained this means the town of Reading would receive a larger portion of the sales tax distribution.
When addressing the environmental concerns, Fagan said the caverns have already been under pressure for years. He added the caverns haven’t lost pressure either through use.
Fagan said he does have an issue with Inergy requesting a tax break for the project. Fagan said the county is fighting that and taking it to court.
Barnes has written a letter to the commissioner of the DEC in support of the projects. He said, “propane has been stored and transported safely in this region for more than 50 years. It is nothing new.” He added he is writing as a Schuyler County resident and elected official in response to Seneca County officials who have weighed in on the project.
Barnes further explained his support by saying the creation of the storage and transfer facility will create 50 construction jobs and in turn increase jobs through local vendors and suppliers. He said, “in addition, the new tax revenue generated can be used to support our schools and critical government services.”
Syracuse University Prof. Donald Siegal has also endorsed Inergy’s plans. In his letter to the DEC, Siegel said the proposed site in Reading “has unique geologic attributes to protect the environment. I can think of no better geological environment in New York state to store liquid gas than salt caverns filled with brine.”