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Prevent LPG Storage in Seneca Lake's Salt Caverns

To be delivered to: Governor Cuomo, NYS DEC
Unlined salt caverns.. Click Image for Gallery
Crestwood Midstream has proposed a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility be constructed in the abandoned salt caverns under Seneca Lake. LPG stored in the salt caverns puts Seneca Lake at risk of gas and brine leaks, explosions, as well as other catastrophic accidents, which would be detrimental to the regions drinking water quality, tourism and wine industry. The NYS DEC must reject Crestwood’s proposed LPG storage facility in order to protect Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes Region.


Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stored in salt cavern facilities makes up only 7% of underground gas storage sites, yet salt cavern facilities have been responsible for 100% of catastrophic accidents nationwide over the past 40 years. Major fires, explosions, and environmental contamination have had a devastating impact on communities with gas stored in salt caverns. Crestwood plans to store 88.2 million gallons of LPG in the salt caverns under Seneca Lake, which poses a serious threat to the Finger Lakes Region’s economy, environment, and public health.

Seneca Lake’s abandoned salt caverns have a history of being structurally unsound and are located uphill of Seneca Lake. Any accidents or leakage from the caverns and/or brine ponds would result in pollutants being deposited into Seneca Lake. Crestwood is already responsible for brine spills in other parts of the country, and a spill in Seneca Lake would jeopardize the drinking water source for over 100,000 people. Seneca Lake has had continuous issue with salinity throughout the years, and in the 1970’s, LPG storage correlated with an increase in the Lake’s salinity. Storing LPG again would cause a spike in salinity and violate drinking water standards.

The Finger Lakes region is a popular tourist destination, which relies on its beauty and wineries for economic prosperity. The Finger Lakes has a $2.8 billion tourism industry and supplies the area with thousand of jobs as well as millions in local taxes and wages. The storage facility will industrialize the area along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and would devalue the thriving regional wine and tourism industry. Additionally, the 750,000 annual Watkins Glen State Park visitors would be beneath a major LPG transit route. The storage facility will transport LPG by train on an 80-year-old trestle that is 175 feet above Watkins Glen State Park gorge, posing immense risk to sightseers.

There is already strong opposition to the Crestwood LPG storage facility. 335 regional businesses and 28 municipalities have expressed their opposition and individual citizens and environmental activists have been protesting the facility. Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation need to protect our environment, economy, and public health by rejecting the proposed Crestwood LPG storage facility in Seneca Lake’s salt caverns.

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