Friday, September 7, 2012

Protesters Block Inergy Facility near Watkins Glen, NY

William Huston / Shaleshock Media
Over on Seneca Lake, just north of Watkins Glen is a salt mine that Inergy is converting to a gas storage facility. Even though there are tons of questions about the environmental issues - including a large  impoundment for holding brine that will be pumped out of the salt caverns when gas is stored - the company is steaming ahead with its plans.

Seneca Lake is beautiful, with wineries lining the shores and boats bobbing about. It's nestled in between hills, so any leaking brine or other things would, of course, run downhill into the lake.

William Huston / Shaleshock Media
That's got a number of citizens concerned. They've petitioned their town boards, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation and Inergy representatives, to no avail. So yesterday a few hardy souls - 17 of them, mostly gray-haired and over 60 - headed to the gate of the Inergy facility to express themselves more clearly.
William Huston / Shaleshock Media
Two of the protesters chained themselves to the fence and kept traffic from entering or leaving for two hours. Another stood alongside, refusing to move when ordered to do so by the police, summoned by Inergy to clear them out. Three people were arrested: Jerry Alderson of Hector, age 63 and editor of the No Frack Almanac; Gary Judson, age 72, a retired minister; and Susan Walker, aged 53, of Dundee.

William Huston / Shaleshock Media

They were charged with trespassing, stuffed into sheriff's cars and transported to the Schuyler County Jail for processing. Lo and behold, there on the wall, engraved on a bronze plaque at the jail was a prayer that very well could have been written for these protesters:
Lord, I ask for courage.
Courage to face my own fear.
Courage to take me where others will not go.

I ask for strength.
Strength of body to protect others.
Strength of spirit to lead others.

I ask for dedication
Dedication to my job, to do it well.
Dedication to my community, to keep it safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment