Second DEC public hearing next week on Inergy

The DEC is holding it’s SECOND Public Hearing next week on the proposed gas storage and transportation hub slated for the Finger Lakes Region.Over 80 scientists, engineers, business owners, Inergy employees and local residents signed up to speak at the initial hearing on 9/27, and less than half were able to make comment before time ran out. The DEC ‘s Second Hearing will give those speakers priority, and is scheduled for Thursday November 3rd at 5:30pm in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium.Since the initial hearing, Senator Mike Nozzolio, as a “representative of the Finger Lakes” sent a letter to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens expressing his concern about this facility’s negative impact on tourism, the economy, the quality of Seneca Lake, and the safety of it’s residents. In contrast, despite receiving hundreds of letters, calls and emails from his constituents, Senator Tom O’Mara has ignored these pleas without any comment. The Watkins Glen Village Board and the Town of Reading Planning Board have committed to request in writing that the DEC require a Quantitative Risk Analysis for this project prior to its approval. Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA), along with Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE) has also sent a letter to many local and state decision-makers expressing their concerns about this project.Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, in conjunction with Chuck Schumer, recently introduced a bill to create jobs by boosting tourism in New York, stating that, “From world class vineyards in the Finger Lakes to Niagara Falls to the beautiful Adirondacks and all the attractions of New York City, there is absolutely no place better to vacation than New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Visitors add billions of dollars to our state’s economy each year and support thousands of jobs right here at home. Many New Yorkers get their very first job in the tourism industry. As we rebuild our economy, this critical legislation would help promote New York’s tourism and ensure long term growth. Tourism is a critical industry in New York State. According to the U.S. Travel Association, domestic and international travelers to New York spent $51.3 billion in 2007 and generated $9.9 billion to federal, state and local governments. According to Tourism Economics, the tourism sector supported more than 660,000 jobs in New York last year. The recent economic downturn has taken a toll on the travel and tourism industry nationwide. Tourism supports over seven million domestic jobs and accounts for 2.8 percent of the United States’ gross domestic product.” Gas Free Seneca members are meeting with Senator Gillibrand’s staffers next week to share their 138-strong business coalition members’ and over 4,200 residents and visitors’ concerns that this industry will have a negative economic impact on the region’s growing and sustainable tourism and wine businesses. Gas Free Seneca has been informed that Senator Schumer’s office is also communicating with the DEC regarding this proposed facility.The dSEIS can be found in its entirety at www.gasfreeseneca.com

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