Seneca Lake 

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Newslinks and Resources for Seneca Lake - a Finger Lake and part of the Rochester, NY area's environment   

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Seneca Lake"Located within Ontario, Yates, Seneca, and Schuyler counties, Seneca Lake lies in the geographic center of the Finger Lakes. At the northern tip of the lake is the City of Geneva, and at the southern tip is the Village of Watkins Glen. Seneca lake has the largest volume of water of the Finger Lakes." --NYS DEC

To find out more about the Finger Lakes in general, climate studies, water quality reports, and educational resources go to the Finger Lakes page.

Seneca Lake NewsLinks

It's important to monitor the health of our Finger Lakes, which is a part of our region's environmental health.

{11/06/2014 - Powerful statements on saving Seneca Lake made at “We Are Seneca Lake Pre-Arraignment Press Conference” last evening. One of the many highlights was Sandra Steingraber reading an amazing statement by the gas company that said “Our business involved many hazards and risks some of which might not be fully covered by insurance.” We Are Seneca Lake Pre-Arraignment Press Conference Published on Nov 5, 2014 Town of Reading Court, November 5, 2014. Lee McCaslin starts off with hoop drum and song. 1:48 Sandra Steingraber 7:33 Ret. Airforce Major Coleen Bolland 11:52 Jeannie and Patrick Judson [more on Seneca Lake in our area]}

2014

  • Steingraber, Boland and Micklem Sentenced to 15 Days in Jail for Protesting Methane Gas Storage Renowned author, biologist and advocate Sandra Steingraber, PhD, U.S. Air Force veteran Colleen Boland (retired) and avid environmentalist Roland Micklem headed to the Chemung County jail Wednesday evening after pleading guilty and refusing to pay a fine in New York’s Reading Town Court. Judge Raymond Barry issued the maximum jail sentence of 15 days. Steingraber, Boland and Micklem were arrested for blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake. They are part of the “We Are Seneca Lake” campaign working to stop the major expansion project at Crestwood’s methane gas storage facility where plans are underway to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. Micklem, who will not have to serve his full sentence, was released yesterday afternoon for health reasons. “I’m a die-hard environmentalist and I think that if we do not protect our environment, we are all history. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do,” said the 86-year-old. (November 21, 2014) EcoWatch  [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Opposition builds to gas storage facility on Seneca Lake shore As protests continue over construction of a gas storage facility on the shore of Seneca Lake, people across the entire Finger Lakes region opposed to the project are getting involved. As protests continue over construction of a gas storage facility on the shore of Seneca Lake, people across the entire Finger Lakes region opposed to the project are getting involved. “The Finger Lakes is all of us,” said Rosemary Hooper, a Naples resident who has joined others from Ontario County in participating in the campaign to stop the building of the gas storage facility on the shore of Seneca Lake in Schuyler County. Texas-based Crestwood Midstream's proposal is to use old abandoned salt caverns along the lake to store millions of barrels of liquid petroleum gas and billions of cubic feet of natural gas. Those opposed include organizations, individuals, businesses and municipalities. The Ontario County Board of Supervisors, Yates County Legislature, Seneca County Board of Supervisors and Geneva City Council are among those that have passed motions opposing the proposed storage facility. (November 19, 2014) Gates-Chili Post [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Gas storage project on Seneca Lake moving onto next phase The DEC’s “draft permit conditions”, released on Monday, propose rules that would have to be followed if the state issues a permit to Finger Lakes LPG Storage. Finger Lakes LPG, which is owned by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Partners, wants to store up to 2.1 million barrels of butane and propane in old salt caverns on the western shore of Seneca Lake, in the Town of Reading. That’s what the draft permit conditions issued by the DEC are about. The “issues conference” is part of the DEC’s permitting process. It comes after public hearings, but before a judge would decide on major points of dispute. And, in this case, there have been some points of dispute. Joseph Campbell is co-founder of Gas Free Seneca, a group of local winemakers and business owners and concerned neighbors, who by the way, have enlisted lawyers from Earthjustice. (November 13, 2014) Innovation Trail  [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • DEC Extends Deadline to File Petitions for Party Status for Issues Conference on Crestwood LPG Storage Facility in Schuyler County Petitions Must Be Submitted to DEC by 5 p.m., Jan. 16, 2015 The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today extended the deadline to file Petitions for Party Status to participate in the issues conference for the Finger Lakes LPG Storage, LLC's proposed liquid propane gas (LPG) storage facility. Petitions must be submitted to DEC by 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Finger Lakes LPG Storage, LLC, a subsidiary of Crestwood Midstream Partners, LP, has proposed to construct and operate a new underground LPG storage facility for the storage and distribution of propane and butane on a portion of a 576-acre site located west of Seneca Lake in the Town of Reading, Schuyler County. The issues conference will be held Thursday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m., and if necessary Friday, Feb. 13 at the Horseheads Holiday Inn, 2666 Corning Road, Horseheads. The purpose of the issues conference is to determine if there are any significant and substantive issues that require an adjudicatory hearing. Participation in the issues conference involves DEC staff, the applicant and any individual or group that has filed a Petition for Party Status. (November 19, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • 10 Arrested as ‘We Are Seneca Lake’ Protests Continue Ten people were arrested today for blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake. This protest marks the fourth week of the “We Are Seneca Lake” campaign to stop the major expansion project at the methane gas storage facility where plans are underway to store highly pressurized, explosive gas in abandoned salt caverns on the west side of Seneca Lake. Thirty-five people have been arrested so far during this campaign, including Dwain Wilder who just finished serving eight days in jail after refusing to pay his fine. Today’s protest included a number of participants of the Great March for Climate Action who recently finished a 3,000-mile walk from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. The marchers arrived in DC on Nov. 1 and then spent a week blockading the entrances of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—the federal agency that approved the Crestwood expansion project—where more than 100 people were arrested during the Beyond Extreme Energy protests. (November 17, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Water Quality and Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Upstate New Yorkers fear gas caves could blow wine, tourism industries Activists fight expansion of energy storage facility they say poses safety, environmental and economic threat In Watkins Glenn — an idyllic part of upstate New York best known for its Finger Lakes, fall foliage and wine — activists worry it could soon be known for something less appealing: industrial disaster. Protesters in the area are engaging in civil disobedience to stop the expansion of a gas storage facility that stores fracked gas from Pennsylvania in old mined-out salt caves, claiming it presents a safety risk to local residents, an environmental danger to the Finger Lakes region and an economic threat to the area’s wine and tourism industries. “We do not want the crown jewel of the Finger Lakes and the font of the wine industry turned into a massive gas station for the fracking industry,” said Sandra Steingraber, a prominent anti-hydraulic-fracturing activist and environmental studies professor at Ithaca College who was one of about a dozen protesters who have been arrested several times during continued protests, most recently on Nov. 3, for blocking the entrance to the storage facility. In Watkins Glenn — an idyllic part of upstate New York best known for its Finger Lakes, fall foliage and wine — activists worry it could soon be known for something less appealing: industrial disaster. Protesters in the area are engaging in civil disobedience to stop the expansion of a gas storage facility that stores fracked gas from Pennsylvania in old mined-out salt caves, claiming it presents a safety risk to local residents, an environmental danger to the Finger Lakes region and an economic threat to the area’s wine and tourism industries. “We do not want the crown jewel of the Finger Lakes and the font of the wine industry turned into a massive gas station for the fracking industry,” said Sandra Steingraber, a prominent anti-hydraulic-fracturing activist and environmental studies professor at Ithaca College who was one of about a dozen protesters who have been arrested several times during continued protests, most recently on Nov. 3, for blocking the entrance to the storage facility. (November 16, 2014) Aljazeera America [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Airman-turned-activist arrested for 'civil disobedience' Retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Collen Boland will mark Veteran's Day with a vigil outside Schuyler County Jail in New York tonight. That's where a fellow veteran is serving a 15-day sentence for refusing to pay a fine for trespassing — and where she too may end up following a court appearance scheduled for next week. Boland and Dwain Wilder, a former sailor, were among 10 protesters arrested Oct. 27 for blocking the entrance of an energy company that four days earlier got the green light to expand an existing natural gas storage facility near the largest of New York's pristine Finger Lakes. (November 12, 2014) AirForceTimes [more on Seneca Lake and Energy in our area]
  • DEC issues conditions for Seneca Lake LPG storage The state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued draft permit conditions for the Finger Lakes LPG Storage LLC's proposed liquid propane gas storage facility that would use existing underground salt caverns. The release of the draft permit conditions is not an indication that DEC will approve the permit, according to the DEC. It is the next step leading to an issues conference Feb. 12 at the Holiday Inn Express in Horseheads. Finger Lakes LPG Storage LLC has proposed to construct and operate a new facility for the storage and distribution of propane and butane on a portion of a 576-acre site located west of Seneca Lake in the Schuyler County Town of Reading. (November 11, 2014) StarGazette [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • NYS moves ahead on Finger Lakes gas storage plan The state Department of Environmental Conservations has issued draft permit conditions for a long-planned and increasingly controversial underground natural gas and propane storage facility in the Finger Lakes region near Watkins Glen. The site has been the site of civil disobedience by protests during the last several weeks, leading to mass arrests. DEC was careful to say in its press release _ issued late Monday after regular business hours _ that draft conditions “in no way indicate that the project will ultimately be approved.” A planned meeting in February by DEC called an “issues conference” could  “result in a determination that denial of the permit is warranted, or that additional conditions may be necessary,” according to the DEC press release. (November 11, 2014) Times Union [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Demonstrators Arrested at Salt Cavern Site Near Seneca Lake Ten members of a local environmental group were charged with trespassing Wednesday for demonstrating near a proposed liquefied petroleum storage site in Schuyler County. Members of the group We Are Seneca Lake were demonstrating in opposition to a Texas company's plan to store liquefied petroleum gas near Seneca Lake. Schuyler County Sheriff's Deputies charged seven with disorderly conduct and trespassing because group members blockaded an Amex Chemical truck at the north gate. Three were arrested at the southern gate and charged with trespassing, according to the group. The ten have since been released. The group's court date is Wednesday, Nov. 5. (November 5, 2015) Ithaca.com [more on Seneca Lake]
  • We Are Seneca Lake Pre-Arraignment Press Conference Published on Nov 5, 2014 Town of Reading Court, November 5, 2014. Lee McCaslin starts off with hoop drum and song. 1:48 Sandra Steingraber 7:33 Ret. Airforce Major Coleen Bolland 11:52 Jeannie and Patrick Judson [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • More protesters arrested at Crestwood READING — Fifteen more protesters were arrested Monday morning outside of Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on the west side of Seneca Lake. The protesters gathered at 7 a.m. and blocked the gates of the Schuyler County facility. At 9 a.m., 15 of them were charged with trespass after Crestwood officials called police. (November 4, 2014) Finger Lakes Times [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Protesters blockade Crestwood gates; no one arrested Threatening to “put their bodies on the line” in a human blockade and risk arrest, dozens of opponents of Crestwood's gas storage facility plans on Seneca Lake protested again Friday outside the gates of the company's property.  Threatening to “put their bodies on the line” in a human blockade and risk arrest, dozens of opponents of Crestwood’s gas storage facility plans on Seneca Lake protested again Friday outside the gates of the company’s property. They were blocking the gates because Friday marked the first day Crestwood was cleared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin construction on an expansion of its natural gas storage facility alongside State Route 14 just north of Watkins Glen. However, a Crestwood representative said the company wasn’t actually planning to begin work Friday, and wasn’t sure when the project would start, so the protesters weren’t really interfering with anything. (October 24, 2014) The Leader [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Seneca Lake protesters: Salt cavern gas storage could contaminate lake, drinking water Watkins Glen, N.Y. -- About 150 people today protested a plan to store compressed gas in empty salt caverns on the west shore of Seneca Lake. "Why take the most dangerous storage technology known, requiring millions of gallons of salt brine storage, and put it next to one of America's most beautiful lakes?" asked former Schuyler County legislator Bob Fitzsimmons at the rally just outside the gates of Crestwood Corp.'s Seneca Lake Compressor Station. "You do not use this dangerous technology to store gas in the midst of a thriving tourist economy. It's a bad idea -- a real bad idea." Thirty of the protestors, wearing red arm bands, were prepared to block the gates and be arrested by police. No one was today, although protesters for Gas Free Seneca said they will be back next week if Crestwood attempts to begin construction of the compressor needed for the gas storage. (October 24, 2014) Syracuse.com [more on Seneca Lake in our area]
  • Seneca Lake algae testing will be done Potentially toxic blue-green algae may have bloomed in Seneca Lake last year. Then again, maybe it didn't. There was a certain amount of confusion on that point at the largest Finger Lake last year, partly because no one was sampling to see if it really was algae that folks kept seeing. That should be a thing of the past. The Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association announced Tuesday that the group and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have arranged to begin regular observation, sampling and analysis of Seneca water for the presence of algal toxin. "We welcome this initiative from DEC to create an organized and effective program to monitor this threat to public health and safety. Last year we had a number of questions from residents and no way to respond to their concerns," said Edwin Przybylowicz, who will coordinate the sampling for the lake association. As the Democrat and Chronicle reported last summer, the five largest Finger Lakes -- Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua and Skaneateles -- had been left out of the extensive toxin sampling that's been done in recent years by the state. Mainly this was because the lake associations there either didn't know about the state algal-toxin testing or chose not to get involved. (July 8, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Finger Lakes and Water Quality and Seneca Lake in our area]

2013

  • Watchdog follow-up: Largest Finger Lakes don't get toxin testing Parts of the Seneca Lake shoreline were draped at times this summer with the oddly colored water and white froth that often signal the presence of blue-green algae blooms. The blooms, which can be accompanied by potentially dangerous toxin, provoked a flood of complaints to the lake association. But Seneca Lake’s waters were never tested for algal toxin. Seneca, the largest of the 11 Finger Lakes, was never included on New York’s warning list of water bodies suffering blooms because environmental officials tried twice but weren’t able to verify that blooms had even occurred. Members of the lake association were left confused. “We issued an alert to our members and … asked them to report to the DEC. I haven’t heard anything back from anybody,” said Mary Ann Kowalski, president of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association. (September 23, 2013) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality and Seneca Lake in our area]

2011

  • Public defends "pristine, beautiful" Seneca Lake at gas hearing | Innovation Trail Bill Moler, the president of the Inergy subsidiary that aims to store 2.1 million gallons of propane in salt caverns next to Seneca Lake, faced a tough crowd on Tuesday night. He attended a Department of Conservation-organized public hearing in Watkins Glen, and was tasked with trying to persuade the crowd that the project would go largely unnoticed - and would yield lower propane prices in the region. But that wasn't a convincing argument to those who came to voice their opposition. Hundreds of local residents turned out, and many expressed fears the project would industrialize a region that depends on tourism. (September 28, 2011) Innovation Trail [More on Seneca Lake in our area]

2009

2008

2003

  • Committee to discuss lake overgrowth Frank All, an Arcadia resident with a summer home on Kashong Point, presented the petition bearing 203 signatures of lakefront property owners to the board last night. The petition requests town officials seek federal or state money to purchase an aquatic weed harvester that would be used to remove the vegetation on the western side of Seneca Lake, from the Geneva city line south to the Yates County line.  (January 10, 2003) Finger Lakes Times Geneva, NY

2002

  •  Lake weed out of control GENEVA - Imagine a creature that invades your home and makes a nest. It replicates faster than you can kill it, spawning thousands of times over. Pretty soon it is consuming your food supply, and crowding you out of your own home. You can barely move without its clinging to you. And it is ugly and smelly to boot.The plot of the latest Halloween horror movie? No: the weeds growing in Seneca Lake.  (November 01, 02) Finger Lakes Times
  • Students studying Seneca Lake A trio is continuing eight years of research on the nutrient levels and impact of zebra mussels in the lake. (July 16, 2002) Daily Messenger
  • Input sought on housing for lakefront GENEVA - A city committee wants more information and community input before taking a stand on lakefront housing. Mayor Donald Cass asked the committee for its input after he had City Manager Richard Rising mark off the roughly 20 acres that would be available for development between the city's Lake Shore Park and Seneca Lake State Park.(April 24, 2002) Finger Lakes Times

2001

  • In-depth studies on Seneca Lake  Nearly 40 teens from across the country are participating in this year's Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute at Hobart and William Smith. The students, entering their junior and senior years of high school, are living on campus for a two-week interdisciplinary exploration into the environment. (Wednesday, July 18, 2001) Finger Lakes Times

2000

 

Resources for Seneca Lake

If you live near Seneca Lake perhaps one of these resources can be a way for you to become involved with your lake's health. 

  • Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association -dedicated  to "enhancing and preserving the quality of Seneca Lake"  Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association is moving forward! In 2009, after a two-year hiatus during which the activities of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA) essentially ceased its activities, a new group reorganized SLPWA under new leadership.   We are indebted to Richard Ahola, Mary Anne Kowalski and Phil Cianciotto who agreed to serve as interim officiers in the reconstituted organization as well as to Professor John Halfman who was custodian of the organization’s records and encouraged the re-formation of this organization.  By August, 2012, the association had over 430 members and SLPWA had indeed been reborn with a group of active and interested members who were willing to continue the development of the organization and its mission of stewardship for Seneca Lake and its watershed.  
  • We Are Seneca lake "Protecting Finger Lakes Communities from Crestwood's Gas Storage Facility"
  • Gas Free Seneca "Gas Free Seneca was formed in early 2011 in response to Inergy, LP’s plan (now Crestwood) to “build an integrated gas storage and transportation hub in the Northeast,” according to its press announcement, at the U.S. Salt plant just North of Watkins Glen, NY. Gas Free Seneca started out as a small group of concerned citizens trying to spread the word about the proposed LPG storage facility. "
  • LPG & NATURAL GAS STORAGE IN SENECA LAKE SALT MINES  NEAR WATKINS GLEN a full characterization of this issue from Rochester's R-Cause "R-CAUSE was created by Rochester citizens who treasure New York State and  want its waters, land and air to remain clean and its communities to remain viable.   R-CAUSE's goal is to inform as many people in the Rochester area as possible  about the state-wide risks associated with  high-volume, slick-water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing. "
  • Zebra Mussel Impact on Seneca Lake Secchi Disc Depths: The Secchi disc is a simple but robust method to measure water transparency (shown left). The disc is attached to a rope and slowly lowered through the water until it just disappears from view. This depth is noted. It is lowered some more, then slowly raised until the disc is just observed. This depth is also noted. The Secchi depth is the average of these two depths 
  • Seneca Lake Get the facts on Seneca Lake from the NYS DEC
  •  Ontario County Planning & Research Department
  • http://www.gflrpc.org/Seneca Lake/Watershed Report/chap9.pdf
  • http://www.gflrpc.org/Seneca Lake/Watershed Report/chap8.pdf