Town board approves hydrofracking moratorium

The Skaneateles town board approved a moratorium on hydrofracking Thursday, after community members came out to speak against the process.

About 20 people spoke out at the Town Hall, with every one of them speaking out against it. Hydrofracking is the process of drilling into the ground and using water and chemicals to release gas reserves. Town Supervisor Terri Roney says one of her concerns is how the heavy machinery used in the process will affect roads.

Another is how it will affect Skaneateles Lake. Roney says the unfiltered water supply provides water to Skaneateles, the city of Syracuse and other communities. She says the moratorium might help answer some of those questions. "It just gives us a chance to look at what other communities do, what other laws are out there, and do what's best for the citizens of this community to protect our community, our natural resources , and our town ," says Roney.

Town board members can decide later to extend the moratorium, or they can grant variances in special circumstance.

For their part, energy companies say there haven't been any credible cases of groundwater contamination linked to hydrofracking. They say drilling will help create jobs.