An independent analysis of the economic impact of the proposed Gas Storage Facility in Schuyler County says that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement submitted by Finger Lakes LPG Storage LLC is quote, “insufficient to reach a conclusion regarding the net economic impact on the region.”
Earthjustice commissioned Jannette M. Barth of the Pepacton Institute LLC. to prepare comments on the economic impacts noted in the draft statement submitted by the gas storage company to the Department of Environmental Conservation. The corporation’s statement claims that the project would create direct and indirect jobs, resulting in economic growth.
Barth’s analysis objects to those claims. She contends quote, “The analysis of employment impacts is incomplete and appears to be overly optimistic. The potential negative impacts on the region’s wine and tourism industries are not sufficiently taken into account. The likelihood of a threshold level (or tipping point) of industrial development beyond which economic decline will occur in a rural or tourism area has not been considered. In an area that is dependent on scenic and nature-based industries such as winemaking and tourism, it is possible that a tipping point may occur earlier than elsewhere. Likely declines in property values and property tax revenue are not sufficiently addressed. And finally, costs to the impacted region associated with increased demand on infrastructure and emergency services are not reflected in the assessment.” end quote
Jon Campbell, from Gas Free Seneca, says quote, “The Department of Environmental Conservation is in the process of completing their review of the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in anticipation of accepting it as Final. This is the last step prior to issuing the permits to Inergy to proceed.” end quote.
The state is nearing its decision with regard to gas storage on Seneca Lake, but local activists and experts are still seeking an alternative vision for economic prosperity in Schuyler County.