Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
More Check on LPG Plans for Reading Sought

Earthjustice, the public interest law firm that has joined the fight against a liquid petroleum gas storage facility planned for the Town of Reading, wants state officials to evaluate the joint environmental/safety impacts of the LPG storage operation and the proposed expansion of an adjacent natural gas storage facility.

Under the state’s Environmental Quality Review Act, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) must evaluate the impact of the two projects, Earthjustice wrote in a May 15 letter to DEC. The analysis should be available for public comment, Earthjustice says.

“At the very least, the safety implications of two adjacent caverns holding millions of barrels of LPG and billions of cubic feet of natural gas must be made available for public review and comment,” reads Earthjustice’s letter, signed by Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg.

Earthjustice is basing its request on a letter from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to Arlington Storage Co., an Inergy Midstream subsidiary, that wants to increase the capacity of its Seneca Lake Storage project from 1.45 billion cubic feet of natural gas to 2 billion cubic feet. The gas is being stored underground in depleted salt caverns.

Meanwhile, Finger Lakes LPG Storage — also an Inergy subsidiary — plans to build an LPG storage facility on property next to the Arlington site near Route 14 in the Town of Reading. The LPG also would be stored underground in depleted salt caverns. The federal agency is requiring Arlington to look at the environmental/safety issues of both projects. Earthjustice wants DEC to put the same requirement on the LPG storage project.

“DEC cannot possibly make an informed decision about these large-scale projects without understanding their cumulative effects,” Earthjustice’s Goldberg said in a statement.

Spokesmen for DEC or Inergy did not respond for comment.

Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment -