By Scott Waldman on 11/10/2014 in Capital
ALBANY—The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Monday issued a draft permit for propane and butane storage in the Finger Lakes region, a proposal that has languished for five years.
Though more state approvals are needed before construction can begin, the permit, though only a draft and still subject to change, is the first movement on the proposed facility in years. Houston-based Crestwood Midstream wants to store 88 million gallons of propane and butane in former salt mines along Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen. Environmentalists, local business owners and elected officials oppose the project because they are worried about pollution to the lake.
The draft permit is a signal the state is finally willing to move on the project, Bill Gautreaux, president of Crestwood's liquids and crude business unit, said Monday.
“I tend to view that as progress. The fact you issue a draft permit means you have gone through the permitting process,” he said. “We haven't had that at this point.”
But state officials cautioned the draft permit does not mean the project is moving forward.
“The release of these draft permit conditions in no way...