Video by Cris McConkey

Finger Lakes Wineries Call on Governor Cuomo to Protect Growing Industry and Tourism and Deny Permits for Proposed Gas Storage FacilityVintners and others applaud Cuomo’s support, call for defense of what has made Finger Lake’s the Napa of the Northeast and Top International Tourism Destination

WHAT: Press conference to call on Governor Cuomo to deny proposal for gas storage facility in Finger Lakes

1:49 Rob McKenzie, Director of Cayuga Medical Center (retired)
4:56 Doug Hazlitt and
7:19 Tina Hazlitt, Hazlitt 1852 Winery and Sawmill Creek Vineyards (seven generations)
9:24 Will Ouweleen, Eagle Crest Vineyards
13:05 Michael Warren Thomas, Radio Host of “The Grapevine”
15:29 Lou Damiani, Damiani Wine Cellars
19:11  Steve Churchill, Seneca County Board of Supervisors

Other Finger Lakes winery and business owners were present

21:50 Questions from the media.  Includes response by
24:34 Deborah Goldberg, Esq., Attorney with Earth Justice

WHEN: Wednesday, July30 at 2 PM

WHERE: LOB Room 120, Albany, NY

WHY: Texas-based Crestwood-Midstream has proposed to use old abandoned salt caverns along Seneca Lake to store millions of barrels of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and billions of cubic feet of natural gas. The proposal has generated opposition from over 200 businesses, over 60 wineries, 10 municipalities and thousands of residents in the Finger Lakes region who are concerned about the threat it poses to one of the state’s largest supplies of drinking water, the local economy, and the area’s growing wine and tourism industry. A recent report on the state’s grape and wine industry showed that it contributes $4.8 billion to the New York State economy every year, supporting the equivalent of 25,000 full-time jobs, paying over $408 million in taxes, and generating over 5.2 million wine-related tourism visits. The Finger Lakes was named as the #1 Lake Vacation by Shermans Travel.

In addition to the over-industrialization of the area such a storage facility would cause, salt cavern storage is historically unsafe. It represents only a small percentage of gas storage facilities, but is responsible for the majority of instances of catastrophic failure. In 2001, gas migrated 7 miles from a salt cavern storage facility in Kansas, came up in abandoned brine wells and exploded, killing two people, destroying buildings and evacuating residents. There are many such abandoned brine wells just three miles from the proposed facility in downtown Watkins Glen, NY. Final approval of the proposal will be determined by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.