The Town of Jerusalem is the first of all the townships on Keuka Lake to make the move beyond a moratorium and enact an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing in natural gas wells. Acting on the advice of an environmental legal team, they did so by strengthening the towns zoning laws, which they assert they have the legal right to do under New York's constitutional "home rule" laws.

Speaking to a standing room only crowd at the Town Hall Feb. 15, Supervisor Daryl Jones' introduced a motion for the adoption of Town of Jerusalem Local Law H-2011 saying, "Early on, a survey was conducted that made it crystal clear that our residents overwhelmingly did not want drilling in our town. It became clear there was strong support in the Town's Comprehensive Plan that emphasized 'agriculture, tourism, and open spaces using the asset of clean water' More than 250 people took the time to write letters and complete the questionnaire."

He continued, "Most important to me was the research and analysis that presented facts that fracking as it is currently done is not safe. It is not safe for the waters we drink. It is not safe for the crops we grow and the produce we eat. It is not safe for the livestock we raise. And it is not safe for the waters of Keuka Lake in which our children and grandchildren swim, fish, and play.

Research proved without a doubt that property values, agriculture and tourism would suffer if fracking came to our town. The idyllic image of Mennonite wagons would be replaced with massive truck traffic of 18-wheelers loaded with waters that contain chemicals that threaten our well-being and waters.

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