Members of Seneca Lake 12 Spend Earth Day Jailed for Blockade

Members of Seneca Lake 12 Spend Earth Day Jailed for Blockade

Three Jailed After Peaceful Blockade of Inergy’s Salt Cavern Gas Storage Facility and Compressor Station. Oppose Fracking Infrastructure Build-Out.

NEW YORK, April 18, 2013- Businesswoman Melissa Chipman, farm owner Michael Dineen, and Author, Biologist, and Heinz Award Recipient Sandra Steingraber, PhD refused to pay their fines and were sentenced to fifteen days in jail by Reading Court Justice, Raymond H. Berry. Steingraber is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College and a prominent critic of fracking. The three peaceful protesters were arrested as part of a civil disobedience blockade of Inergy’s salt cavern gas storage facility in Reading, NY, just north of Watkins Glen.

Over 200 people from surrounding communities filled the Reading (NY) Court House, spilling out onto the sidewalk, parking lot, on Wednesday, April 17 in a show of support for the three defendants who had previously plead guilty to trespassing. Justice Berry fined each of the three $375 and when they refused to pay he imposed the maximum possible sentence of fifteen days.
I would rather eat bread and water now than have no bread and toxic water, later! –Melissa Chipman
On March 18, Steingraber and 10 fellow residents of the Finger Lakes region linked arms and blockaded a salt cavern gas storage site run by Missouri-based Inergy, LLP, on Seneca Lake. They did so to demonstrate their opposition to the planned heavy industrialization of the Finger Lakes region, renowned for its natural beauty, vineyards, and tourism- and agriculture-based economy. Inergy’s gas storage and transportation project threatens the drinking water supply for 100,000 people.

“In my field of environmental health, the word trespass has meaning. Toxic trespass refers to involuntary human exposure to a chemical or other pollutant. It is a contamination without consent”. –Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., Finger Lakes CleanWaters Initiative’s Scientific Advisor

Find Sandra’s Earth Day Letter From Jail on Facebook

Salt caverns in the United States have a troubled safety history when used to store volatile gases. A 2004 analysis by industry insider John Hopper found them to be far more prone to catastrophic accidents than other more common underground storage options. (DC Bureau)
The recent collapse Texas Brine’s cavern in Bayou Corne in the Grand Bayou, LA underscores this issue.

“I did this to attempt to protect the community when all other means have failed.” –Michael Dineen
Contact: Chris Tate 607 351-3768
Photos, video: