11:09am

Fri April 20, 2012
Environment

Skaneateles undecided about hydraulic fracturing

The Finger Lakes are buzzing these days with the debate on hydro-fracking and many communities want it banned.  Thursday night the town of Skaneateles held a public forum to give residents the chance to speak their minds about a proposed law to prohibit the controversial process for natural gas drilling.

When you think of Skaneateles Lake, drinking water may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the truth is that Syracuse, and many other communities in Central New York, depend on it every day for their drinking water.

That's one reason why people were lined up at the Town Hall in Skaneateles Thursday night to speak their minds about a possible ban on hydraulic fracturing, or "hydro-fracking."

One of those people was Claire Howard, a Skaneateles resident. Claire deeply supports a ban.

"It could all go down the tubes. We pollute the environment and we have nothing left. We might as well move to the moon," Howard said.

David Walker is another Skaneateles resident who wants to see a ban. David brought the point home Thursday night.

"Maybe it's your basement, maybe it's underneath your kids playground, maybe it's your drinking water, maybe it's Skaneateles Lake, that can have an impact. How long does it take? Well, the jury's out," Walker said.

What's clear is that the people of Skaneateles are not just concerned with the quality of their lake's drinking water, but they also fear the tarnishing of a lake they hold so close to their hearts.

The state of New York currently does not allow hydraulic fracturing, pending an environmental review of the technology. The review was begun in 2008 and will likely continue through the summer. But that hasn't stopped towns like Skaneateles, with their futures in mind, from holding intense debates.

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