New Yorkers Call on Gov. Cuomo to Save Seneca Lake from LPG Fracking
More than 100 people and close to a dozen businesses came together to celebrate the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway today, while also bringing attention to the fact that fracking and Inergy's proposed natural gas and NGL (natural gas liquids) storage facility threaten the Scenic Byway and local tourism.
Participants held a press conference calling on Gov. Cuomo, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and State Legislature to protect the Scenic Byway and surrounding region from the economic and health threats posed by Inergy’s facility and fracking. Citizens lined the road with signs saying “Celebrate the Scenic Byway, No Fracking—No LPG.”
Inergy's gas storage and transport facility and fracking threaten the area with massive truck traffic, noise and visual impairments. It will impact local air quality and threaten water contamination in the region, and drive away tourism.
"Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious: drill rigs are not scenic. Fleets of tanker trucks hauling explosive gases do not belong on byways,” said Sandra Steingraber, acclaimed author, biologist and scholar in residence at Ithaca College. “Leaf-peeping drives through the countryside are not made more enjoyable by flaming flare stacks or the roar of diesel engines. The Finger Lakes region of New York is facing a Lady or the Tiger choice: we can live in a land of scenic byways lined with world-class wineries or we can be fracked. I choose the Lady."
Local business leaders pointed to how the region’s economy is dependent on tourism and agriculture, and said that fracking and the LPG facility would jeopardize the region’s future success.
"Our business has grown to where it is today because of tourism in the Finger Lakes. We feel that our business would be threatened but the negative effects of fracking and LPG storage," said Doug Hazlitt, owner of Hazlitt Winery.
Jacqueline Leidenfrost owner of Rustic Log Cabins said, "This designation officially establishes this area as unique, exceptionally beautiful and economically valuable to our community and the state of New York. As residents who enjoy the country lifestyle of a small community with the clean air we breathe and clean water we drink and swim in, we must be ever mindful how precarious these natural resources are."
Two local organizations, Hector Clean Waters and Gas Free Seneca, expressed their gratitude for all those who worked hard to establish the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway.
Joseph Campbell of Gas Free Seneca said, "Our part of the Finger Lakes region is a precious resource renowned for its beauty, culture, fertile farms, orchards and vineyards. Visitors come from all over to explore our lakes and gorges and sample our fine wines, delicious healthy produce and dairy products. We come here to honor those who worked to celebrate this, but also to voice our fervent opposition to a practice which will destroy this beautiful landscape and our way of life—shale gas exploitation."
The local organizations called on Gov. Cuomo and the State DEC to deny Inergy its permit for the proposed facility. “Part of the shale hydrofracking nightmare, this huge facility threatens the pure water of Seneca Lake with petroleum gas and salt pollution, would burn off excess gas with a towering flare stack, produce air pollution, and be a visual and noisy blight along this gorgeous lake. Worst of all would be the constant risk of gas explosions,” said Campbell.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.