There are many localized dramas playing out in the NY 23rd Congressional District. Although many of us are breathing a bit easier since the Hydro-fracking ban, those around Seneca Lake are still fighting the LPG Storage proposal. The following is a letter to the editor (of a few newspapers) from activist, Peter Gamba comparing the DEC’s perceived actions and their Mission Statement. Mr. Gamba gave permission for us to publish it.
The DEC needs to follow its Mission.
I went to the DEC issues conference that was addressing the LPG storage in the salt caverns off Seneca Lake. This is an attempt by the DEC to address the community’s environmental concerns that have been in the public media and community for a long time.
To me there are many health, safety and local economic issues. The main health and safety issue is the high risk that Crestwood and the DEC deny exist to the lake water that serves 100,000 people in the Seneca Lake area.
From listening to the discussion on Thursday, it is clear to me that the risk to protecting the water has not been addressed from a systematic environmental and ethical standpoint by either Crestwood or the DEC.
We are in a era where we need to ask the question “If we do this then what?” not just do it.
The livability and safety of the community is what matters. However, from what I have observed, money matters more over safety to the DEC and the Crestwood Industry. Below is the DEC’s Mission Statement.
“The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was created on July 1, 1970 to combine in a single agency all state programs designed to protect and enhance the environment.
Mission: “To conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being.”
“DEC’s goal is to achieve this mission through the simultaneous pursuit of environmental quality, public health, economic prosperity and social well-being, including environmental justice and the empowerment of individuals to participate in environmental decisions that affect their lives.”
The DEC needs to address its mission statement in a more comprehensive manner and not address economic prosperity solely from an industry standpoint. The community and the environment matter more and from the mission statement the issues conference needs to focus on the environmental part of the mission as well as listening to the community individuals who have decided to participate.
Peter Gamba – Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes