READING — Three of the “Seneca 12’’ protesters arrested in March for trespassing at the Inergy Midstream property refused to pay their fines Wednesday night and were sentenced to 15 days in local jails.
Pleading guilty to the trespass charges were environmental activist and visiting biology scholar at Ithaca College Sandra Steingraber of Trumansburg, massage therapist Melissa Chipman of Hector and farmer Michael Dineen of Ovid.
All three said they would not pay the $375 in fines and fees, prompting their jail sentence by Reading Town Justice Raymond Berry.
The three also spoke at a rally in Watkins Glen prior to their court appearances.
They said they protested at the Inergy site to express opposition to the Kansas City, Mo.-based company’s plans to seek permits to store liquefied petroleum gas such as propane, butane and methane in underground salt caverns on the west shore of Seneca Lake in the town of Reading, Schuyler County.
The three explained the reasons for their protest and their plans not to pay the fines after pleading guilty, accepting the jail terms.
The three were led from the courtroom in handcuffs to serve their jail sentences at the Schuyler County (Dineen) and Chemung County (Steingraber, Chipman) jails.
The previous defendants paid their court-imposed $375 fines. They are Dennis Fox of Middle Island, Kathleen Alvey of Ithaca, Jack Ossont of Himrod, Katarina Andersson of Ithaca and Darmaye “Crow’’ Marley of Hector.
One, Nathanael Miller, has hired a lawyer and had his case adjourned to
The final three who were arrested, James Borra of Hector, Marjorie Rogers of Elmira and Richard Jones of Belfast, are due in Reading Town Court May 1.
Nightly candlelight vigils will be conducted near the two jails by supporters of the three jailed protesters.