Protester outlines ‘Smoking Gun’ in LPG debate

On Wednesday, the No Frack Almanac published documents authored by Jeremy Alderson, editor of the Hector publication highlighting alleged shortcomings of the process, which could eventually grant the company permission to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas in abandoned salt caverns.The hefty document dump was timed to coordinate with a major announcement made by Alderson at the gates of Stagecoach – known by many as Crestwood, the name of the company before a merger with Consolidated Edison – Wednesday at 9 am. The documents outline three major allegations, which are listed as the following:– That the DEC regulatory process regarding the gas storage facility “is a sham,” due to a lack of knowledge regarding the actual contents of the wells.- That the DEC is “not in any, way, shape or form,” protecting the community- And that the owners of the facility are “essentially assured that no one will ever check on the contents of the caverns.”The documents present a series of “smoking guns,” which outline and show support for the allegations made by the presenter. Alderson’s first major smoking gun involves a FOIL request, which he made to the DEC asking for “copies of all assays or lab analyses of samples collected on the gas storage site from 2000 to the present.” The information he was seeking referred to substances found “inside or outside of the wells.”The DEC responded to Alderson’s request noting that it had “no response records,” on the subjects he had requested. Alderson asserts that this exchange proves three things:– The DEC cannot possibly know what is inside the caverns.- The DEC cannot possible be protecting the public from environmental hazards.- The DEC cannot actually be regulating the Reading facility.His reasoning is that to know what’s inside the caverns, to protect the public from environmental hazards associated with storing gas inside them, or to even regulate the facility in Reading – extensive tests would have to be run on the facility and sites.The second smoking gun presented by Alderson involves the wells on the site that “already have gas stored in them.” He sought out inspection records, permits, permit applications, reports, and even spill reports. He received a total of 72 documents from the DEC, which all failed to reference the authentication of what is currently being stored in wells on the site. Alderson asserts in his overview that “Given the DEC’s total lack of knowledge about what’s actually in the caverns, permits are just meaningless pieces of paper.”Alderson argues that his third smoking gun is by far the strongest of the four presented in the document dump. He submitted a FOIL request for “ANY and ALL responsive records to show that the DEC actually knows what substances are being injected into the salt caverns on Seneca Lake…”The DEC denied that request, pointing out that all documents related to it would be released in the FOIL highlighted in the second smoking gun.He goes on to point out that, “The DEC seems to be admitting to having no documents at all that establish the contents of any of the various wells in the Reading complex.” He pointed out that as of putting together the overview of the document dump – no formal follow-up to his appeal had been noted.The fourth smoking gun involves air quality testing, which Alderson asserts would be beneficial to learn more about the contents being stored in the wells at the Reading facility. While he admits it would not be “foolproof” there would still be environmental benefits to conducting such testing.He requested air monitoring records, which the DEC noted it “does not maintain.” Alderson points out that the EPA also does not keep such records.CLICK HERE to view all of the documents included in the release.Alderson had told media outlets on Tuesday that he would make the announcement at the gate, which was going to be livestreamed on the No Frack Almanac website. He had also planned on protesting immediately afterward on the site, which Alderson believed would prompt an arrest.FingerLakes1.com will have more on this story as it continues to develop.

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