Skaneateles sets moratorium on hydrofracking

No one at public hearing spoke against moratorium:

A large crowd of residents stood up and told the town board that a six-month proposed moratorium on hydrofracking in the Skaneateles was needed for study. Some questioned if six months was enough; others called for a ban.

Town attorney Patrick Sardino explained the moratorium to the board, saying that the board could either cut short or extend the moratorium depending on the findings of this study period. There is also a variance if a property owner or gas company could prove financial hardship based on the moratorium. That entity would have a public hearing within 45 days, and if granted permission, the drilling could commence within 30 days after that hearing.

Representatives from other CNY areas were also present, Anita Williams, head of the Otisco Lake Preservation Association said she was there to gather information for her group. Jamesville resident's James and Michele Darin also made the trip to speak out against hydrofracking.

Skaneateles' Mary Menapace reported that Tully just enacted a nine-month moratorium (Elbridge and DeWitt also have moratoriums).

Several members of the audience asked for a voluntary citizen review board on the issue.

Citizen's concerns

-Beside possible contamination of well water and Skaneateles Lake from still unnamed chemicals used in the horizontal fracking process.

-Wear and tear on roads (Avgerage1200 truck trips per well)

-Who will pay for water testing?

-Training for well fires?

-Stress on police, fire, emergency DPW departments and other municipal services.

-Who is liable in the event of an accident?

Residents' voices:

* Former town resident, George Rossi (parents are residents) said it is "wise to study" before giving a go ahead. "It's a boomtown mentality," he added are we ready for "Man camps, an uptake in crime, rig fires, heavier traffic and wear and tear on our roads?" He told the board that life will change if you take your hands off the wheel.

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