Pro­tect­ing Seneca Lake

In up­state New York, wine­mak­ers and farm­ers fight to keep their wa­ter clean •


Wine­mak­ers and farm­ers unite around a cause

In Jan­uary of 2015, a group of wine­mak­ers and or­ganic farm­ers set a long wooden har­vest ta­ble on the snowy ground just out­side the Crest­wood gas fa­cil­ity near the south­ern tip of Seneca Lake in up­state New York. They loaded the ta­ble with fresh bread, bot­tles of wine and cider, sauer­kraut made with cab­bage and car­rots, meat­balls from grass-fed cows. There was maple syrup, honey, and lo­cally for­aged mush­rooms. As the sun came up, they shared a meal and waited for the trucks to come.

The peo­ple around the ta­ble were protest­ing Crest­wood’s plan to ex­pand its nat­u­ral gas stor­age in the aban­doned salt cav­erns be­neath Seneca Lake. The plan would not only turn the cav­erns into un­lined stor­age tanks for three highly pres­sur­ized prod­ucts of frack­ing, but also trans­form the Fin­ger Lakes into a gas-stor­age hub for the en­tire North­east. “What we were say­ing was, this is

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