Watkins Glen LPG Storage Jan 27, Ithaca

ANNOUNCING:  Informational Meeting on


Storing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

near Watkins Glen:  Questions and Answers

Presentations by

  • Thomas Shelly, Chemical safety and hazardous materials specialist
  • Peter Mantius, Journalist on business and finance, now with DCBureau.com


Human Services Building, 320 W. State Street, Ithaca, NY

Thursday, January 27, 2011,  7:00 – 9:00 pm


A company is proposing to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in salt caverns in the town of Reading, 2 miles from Watkins Glen.  How does this process work and what are the environmental and safety concerns?  Learn more at this informational meeting.


Finger Lakes LPG Storage is seeking approval from NY DEC to store up to 88 million gallons of LPG (propane and butane) in salt caverns near the western shore of Seneca Lake.  The facility, straddling Route 14 south of the 14A junction, would include

  • Connection to an existing interstate pipeline
  • Constructing a 14-acre lined surface pond on the hillside above Seneca Lake, with a capacity to hold 2 million barrels of displaced brine
  • Storm water control structures
  • Compressors
  • Construction of a new rail and truck transfer facility
  • LPG storage tanks
  • Office and distribution buildings


The salt caverns, currently brine-filled, were created by U.S. Salt and Cargill’s mining operations.  To make space for the LPG, some of the brine would be pumped out and placed in the surface pond.  As the LPG was needed on a seasonal basis, it would be shipped out by truck and rail.  The brine would be moved between the surface pond and the cavern as needed.


There are many questions about safety of this operation, including protection of Seneca Lake as a source of drinking water, possible migration of gases during storage and/or transport, and impact of trucking and rail cars carrying LPG.


The DEC determined that the project could result in enough adverse impacts to require an environmental impact review.  The review process grants the public the right to raise questions and make comments.  Those comments must be received by the DEC by January 31. Comments can be sent by e-mail to the NY DEC to: David Bimber, Deputy Regional Permit Administrator, at dlbimber@gw.dec.state.ny.us.


This event is sponsored by Social Ventures and Shaleshock Action Alliance.  Contact Sara Hess for questions.  Sarahess63@yahoo.com


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