Three original framers of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan have written letters to the Commission calling on it to reject the South Jersey Gas pipeline because the route clearly violates the terms and the goals of the CMP’s protections for the Pinelands Forest Area. Terrence Moore was the founding Executive Director of the Commission, where he served for 20 years in drafting and implementing the CMP. John Stokes was the founding director of planning at the Commission, and later served as Executive Director. Over 30 years he was a central figure in designing and enforcing the CMP. Robert McIntosh worked for the National Park Service on the creation of the Pinelands protection program and represented the Secretary of the Interior on the Pinelands Commission for many years and across a range of Democratic and Republican Administrations in Washington, DC. These three men bring unequaled experience and expertise in the workings and meaning of the Pinelands regulations.
Each of these individuals understand the purposes and meaning of the specific CMP regulations which South Jersey Gas is trying to circumvent in order to build a very high-capacity gas transmission pipeline across the Pinelands Forest Area. The CMP prohibits infrastructure like the proposed pipeline from being built in the Forest Area unless it is needed to serve those already inside the Pinelands. These letters explain in detail why the pipeline would not “primarily serve only the needs of the Pinelands” within the meaning of the CMP, as required of any such pipeline before it can be built within the Forest Area, and why approving the project would set an extremely damaging precedent for future development of the Forest Area.
The fact that these founders of the Pinelands program have never before submitted comments to the Commission on a pending development application since retiring from their official positions, but have all done so now, shows how critical this issue is to the integrity and success of the Pinelands protection program. Read the letters here: