Crestwood’s number one priority is safety, which is why its facilities are designed to achieve the highest levels of safety and regulatory compliance. Propane has been stored safely in salt caverns in the Finger Lakes region for over six decades. Cumulatively, LPG has been stored in salt caverns in three locations in the Finger Lakes (Bath, Reading and Harford Mills) for more than 140 years. As this map from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation shows, New York uses underground facilities all across the state to keep natural gas and LPG safely stored:
Map of natural gas and LPG storage facilities (Photo: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation)
Regulatory bodies confirm the safety of salt cavern storage in the Finger Lakes
The New York State Geologist endorsed the integrity attributes of the proposed propane storage facility, stating:
"There does not appear to by any geological reason to deny their request to utilize
the geologic formations specified for the storage of liquefied petroleum gas."
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has on three occasions authorized natural gas to be stored in the same salt formation at the US Salt complex, most recently approving an expansion of the existing natural gas storage facility. The recent approval states:
"The Environmental Assessment concludes that there would be negligible cumulative impacts on groundwater and surface water. Further, the EA states that construction of the Finger Lakes Project would occur under the authority of the NYSDEC and would be mitigated to avoid significant impacts on groundwater and surface waters. Because no project-specific evidence has been provided to sufficiently call into question the adequacy of the EA’s cumulative impact analysis, we concur that construction and operation of Arlington’s Gallery 2 Project and the Finger Lakes Project will not have cumulative impacts on groundwater and surface waters."
The Army Corps of Engineers also approved the site plan for the propane storage facility.
Local Legislature's Resolution declares project safe
"WHEREAS, the caverns located on US Salt property have been used for gas storage (LPG and natural gas) since 1964 without incident, and another underground LPG facility adjacent to the Finger Lakes' proposed project int he Town of Reading has also operated without incident since 1985, and ...
WHEREAS, in the State Geologists Letter, he stated:
[T]here does not appear to by any geological reason to deny their request to utilize
the geologic formations specified for the storage of liquefied petroleum gas. Their
demonstration of both cap rock and cavern integrity is complete, and with a properly
developed monitoring program, Finger Lakes' proposed use of the Salt Points caverns
is geologically sound. Further, in our review of the application materials, it has
been demonstrated that the caverns in this salt formation have a longstanding
operational record as a gas storage facility without any geological evidence of
incompatibility for this intended purpose,
...BE IT RESOLVED, based on the facts set forth above, the Schuyler County Legislature concludes that Finger Lakes, through its submissions and compliance with all regulatory requests, has demonstrated that it has minimized impacts to the maximum extent practicable and that the caverns to be used for LPG storage are well suited for such use..."
-SCHUYLER COUNTY LEGISLATURE
Schuyler County, State of New York, June 9, 2014
Rail carriers maintain an impeccable safety record
"Class I railroads like us are required by federal law to offer to transport hazardous materials. Rail is an extremely safe way to transport hazardous materials; in fact, according to the Association of American Railroads, 99.9977% of all hazardous material rail shipments reach their destination without a release caused by a train accident. ... Although we strive for incident-free operations, our performance record demonstrates that the transportation of hazardous materials by rail does not itself pose unacceptable risks to our communities.
We have more than 300 employees who have been specially trained and certified through the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response program developed by OSHA. Each employee who directly affects hazardous materials, including train crews, receives annual training in awareness, safety and security. We also actively participate in the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response program known as TRANSCAER, and last year our employees conducted through TRANSCAER 256 rail-accident response training classes in 110 locations in 17 states (including 12 training courses in New York with 226 attendees in the last two years)."
Emergency Responders are prepared to do their jobs
“We’ve had flammable gas workshops, trained on transport vehicles, done scenarios. These First Responders are trained. To say they’re not ready to handle [an emergency] is totally wrong. ”
“I would like to address all the speculation on internet sites and Village, Town, and County meetings stating that the emergency services of Schuyler County, and particular the Watkins Glen FD, are not prepared to handle certain types of emergencies that may arise in our respective response district.
As Fire Chief for the Watkins Glen Fire Department I feel not only is it my duty but my sworn right into the brotherhood I have chosen to belong to my entire life, following my father and two older brothers, to defend the flagship of my department and the great men and women who serve in it. These men and women see things the like of which ordinary citizens do not and never ask for a thing in return. Their physical and mental health is in constant jeopardy. For their qualifications and training to come into question in a public forum is unwarranted.
If questions ever arise regarding the training or qualifications of my emergency responders I will always be available to meet and speak with anyone. My email is public knowledge and listed at watkinsglenfiredepartment.com.
All you need to do is ask. Having legitimate questions is ok but there is always a way to go about asking them. Using the emergency responders as pawns in a scare tactic is not the right way and won't be tolerated anymore. They don't deserve it. They deserve to be appreciated.”
Fire Chief, Watkins Glen Department of Fire Rescue, July 16, 2014
"In response to the public question: Is the local EMS network capable of responding to potential emergencies the answer is: yes. The worst case scenario for the EMS network would be a MCI (Mass Casualty Incident). ... I am [as former Watkins Glen Fire Chief] also in charge of EMS, Rescue and Fire response at Watkins Glen International for spectator weekends including the annual NASCAR event and the PHISH concert that just happened here. I have a great team of qualified chiefs that can handle any and all emergencies that may happen in our district.
The local EMS network is trained to deal with MCI's. Every Certified First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, and paramedic receives MCI training during their original class and once every 3 years during their required refresher. This is in addition to any training the individual's respective agency might offer. In the Watkins Glen Fire Department this training is offered at least once a year."
Former Fire Chief, Watkins Glen Fire Department, April 2014
United Steelworkers supports project safety measures
"After reviewing the engineering and design, environmental, safety and technical information relating to the proposed Finger Lakes LPG Storage Project, I am writing to inform you that the United Steelworkers District 4 supports the project.
This project addresses multiple issues regarding current and future employment and the growing energy needs of New York and the entire Northeast, and we are committed to helping you obtain the approvals necessary to construct infrastructure that helps propane consumers (many of whom are United Steelworker employees) and local communities.”
District Director, United Steelworkers District 4, August 7, 2014