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State accepts gas storage response

    READING—The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will now accept public comment on Inergy’s proposed $40 million liquid petroleum and gas storage and transfer facility in Reading.
    The DEC will hold a public hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Watkins Glen High School auditorium. Inergy representatives will be on hand for a public information session from 6 to 7 p.m. Comments will be accepted starting at 7 p.m. Written comments will also be accepted by the state until Monday, Oct. 10, 2011.
    Inergy’s application and the DEC’s draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (dSEIS) are viewable online here. The gas storage project is listed under Region 8.
    The initial statement discusses the existing conditions and potential environmental issues and effects of project impacts on land, ground and surface waters, wetlands, traffic, noise, visual, vegetation, wildlife and public safety. After review, DEC staff made the determination that the dSEIS is sufficiently adequate in format and content to be accepted for public review and comment. The study lists various areas which could possibly impact the environment, including the brine pond and noise pollution. The document says all of those areas will be discussed.
    The DEC has been the lead agency for the environmental impact review of this project, and issued a Positive Declaration of environmental significance on Nov. 17, 2010. According to the state, a positive declaration “is a determination by the lead agency that an action may result in one or more significant environmental impacts and so will require the preparation of an EIS before agency decisions may be made regarding the action.”
    Some area residents have been vocal in their opposition of the project. A group formed called Gas Free Seneca has organized several meetings about the project. The group has also obtained over 1,300 signatures as part of an online petition.


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