EPA Refuses to Release Seismic Data on Proposed Inergy Finger Lakes Liquid Gas Cavern with a History of Earthquakes
WATKINS GLEN, NY – Rubble 200 feet deep covers the floor of a former brine cavern now slated to hold up to 600,000 barrels of highly pressurized liquid butane near this Finger Lakes tourist village.
The company that seeks regulatory permission to use the cavern and several others like it for hydrocarbon storage argues that they are ideal repositories for explosive material, immune to collapse or leakage due to a protective layer of stable, impervious salt.
But the presence of rubble at the base of each proposed storage cavity raises questions that neither the company nor environmental regulators are willing to air in public.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims to hold documentation showing that the roof of the cavern now earmarked for liquid butane storage once collapsed in an earthquake, causing a previous owner of the well to abandon plans to store natural gas there. However, the EPA refused last month to disclose the date of that earthquake and roof collapse or the identity of the company that abandoned its hydrocarbon storage plans, denying DCBureau’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act. An appeal is pending.