OPPONENTS CLAIM VICTORY: Crestwood withdraws major component of storage plan

The controversial Gallery 2 Expansion Project will not be happening.

Arlington Storage Co., an offshoot of Crestwood Midstream Partners has abandoned plans to expand natural gas storage in salt caverns along Seneca Lake.

For the hundreds who had signs protesting the plan in their yards – it comes as a small victory, as they continue to fight the company’s plans to expand operations at the southern tip of Seneca Lake.

Some opponents declared it a major victory. However, a number of others noted that the company is continuing forward with plans to store liquid propane gas in those abandoned salt caverns.

“It’s not safe and it risks one of the region’s best natural resources,” one opponent told us earlier in the year during an event touting the region’s wines.

Many of those who pushed back against the project from the beginning said that an expansion of this nature would threaten the livelihoods of thousands, as tourism explodes in the Finger Lakes. As the craft beverage business grew, along with Finger Lakes wines – opposition to the project grew, too.

“Despite its best efforts, Arlington has not been successful in securing long-term contractual commitments from customers that would support completion of the Gallery 2 Expansion Project,” Arlington wrote in a compliance report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week. “Accordingly, Arlington has discontinued efforts to complete the Gallery 2 Expansion Project.”

“This is a tremendous victory for the people of the region who have fought for years to protect Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes from industrialized gas storage. This ill-conceived plan has cast a shadow on the region’s burgeoning tourist industry from the start, and today we celebrate our victory against Goliath,” said Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Gas Free Seneca.

“The admitted failure to secure customers establishes that there is no need for Arlington to expand,” said attorney Deborah Goldberg of Earthjustice, which has been representing Gas Free Seneca. “We will be asking FERC to rescind its 2014 project approval, which rested on a plainly flawed finding that expansion was required by ‘public convenience and necessity’.”

“This has been a long drawn out battle to protect a World Class region from a Texas based oil and gas corporation. They only see dollar signs, where we see tranquil beauty, clean air, and fresh water,” said Joseph Campbell, President of Gas Free Seneca. “Crestwood should see the writing on the wall where 32 municipalities across the Finger Lakes region, representing 1.2 million residents are on record opposing gas storage on Seneca Lake, and they should withdraw their applications to store LPG in these unsafe salt caverns as well. They are clearly not wanted here.”

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