Olive to hold meeting on gas drilling

On Monday, April 2, the Olive town board will hold a special public meeting to discuss hydraulic fracturing and the prospect of passing local legislation to ban it in the town.

Supervisor Berndt Leifeld said that there is broad agreement on the town board that the town should take some kind of action on the issue soon. The purpose of the meeting, he said, is to discuss ideas with local residents.

"It's just to get everybody's opinion as to what they think should be in it, and then we'll draw something up," he said.

Leifeld also said that at the most recent monthly meeting of the Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors, on March 20, he asked Ulster County executive Mike Hein if the county would consider drafting model legislation to ban gas drilling that any town in the county could adopt.

"I made a suggestion that the county come up with a model resolution so that the towns could all be on the same page," Leifeld said. "He seemed to be in favor -- he kind of was in favor of the fact that we should all be talking about it."

About three-quarters of the land in the town of Olive lies within the New York City watershed. Draft gas drilling regulations by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation would prohibit hydraulic fracturing within the New York City watershed.

The meeting will be held at 7:30pm, Monday, April 2, in the Olive town hall at 50 Bostock Road in Shokan.