SJ Gas Pipeline Amended Application - May 2015
The South Jersey Gas proposal is the pipeline we have been fighting for almost two years now. The pipeline would traverse the Pinelands Forest Area of Cumberland and Cape May Counties – a Pinelands planning district where this kind of infrastructure is forbidden unless it is primarily serves people living inside Pinelands already – in order to bring natural gas to the BL England Power plant on the shores of Great Egg Harbor, and perhaps to provide an emergency backup supply to other users in Cape May County
February 2017 - Pinelands Commission meeting rescheduled, LIKELY SOUTH JERSEY GAS PIPELINE VOTE - Feb. 24, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Grand Ballroom, 2349 West Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002. Learn how to take action before this meeting here.
January 2017 - DEP Green Acres determination of encumbered property at proposed valve station
November 2016 - Victory - Appeals Court Sends South Jersey Gas Pipeline back to the Pinelands Commission!
In August 2015 the New Jersey Pinelands Commission issued a Certificate of Filing for the South Jersey Gas application. (read copy click here). A video of the meeting is located on Youtube - click here.
In a stunning move the Executive Director of the Pinelands Commission decided she would not allow the matter to be submitted to the 15-member governing board of the Commission. She stated that the project complied with the rules and in December 2015 the Board of Public Utilities approved the application to build the pipeline.
On December 16, 2015 they approved the petition from South Jersey Gas that would waive all municipal land use ordinances and regulations in relation to the construction of the pipeline. The BPU didn’t directly address the potential impacts on the Pinelands as you can see in the concluding statement made by Board of Public Utilities President, Richard Mroz:
“I do not find persuasive that the board must consider the specific impacts of just areas within the Pinelands. While we are certainly mindful of the concerns of citizens and organized groups advocating for the continued preservation of the Pinelands I do not find persuasive for this application arguments that we must consider only the specific impacts of the project in that area. Rather the law is such that we, in our deliberations and considerations and actions here as commissioners, must consider the broader impact to the public to determine if this proposed infrastructure is both reasonably necessary for the service, convenience and welfare of the public. Taking all of the issues which are in the record of evidence that is before us I therefore find and conclude that there is sufficient support in the record for this application and I vote in the affirmative.”
The Pinelands Preservation Alliance filed appeals against the Board of Public Utilities in December 2015.
In November 2016 the Appellate Division of the Superior Court agreed with us that the Pinelands Commission and Board of Public Utilities improperly approved the controversial South Jersey Gas Pipeline without a review and decision by the full membership of the Pinelands Commission.
Learn what you can do by visiting our Take Action page.
The pipeline’s route and stated purposes have not changed at all since the Pinelands Commission’s findings and vote in 2014, so the new claim that the proposal complied with Pinelands rules all along is simply not credible. Instead, South Jersey Gas has just decided to reframe its argument for exactly the same development plan – a plan that violates the Forest Area protections and threatens the integrity of the CMP.
NJTV News covers the South Jersey Gas Pipeline project on August 17, 2015, interviewing PPA Executive Director Carleton Montgomery.
Pinelands Commission application:
South Jersey Gas has submitted an amended application to the Pinelands Commission documents submitted can be found on their web site by clicking here.
DEP letter release:
Prior to the submission of the application to the NJ Pinelands Commission the NJ DEP Comissioner's Office released a letter dated May 14, 2015. The letter written to South Jersey Gas indicated its purpose was "to summarize the general information presented to the Department; provide an evaluation of the regulatory requirements and permit feasibility of each alignment option; and to provide guidance on potential future permit application to the Department." (click here to view full letter)
The DEP letter references documents which the Department reviewed. There were:
- Alternatives Analysis Addendum II to the June 18, 2002, BL England Analysis Report, prepared by Woodard & Curran, dated April 2015.
- Map of Pinelands Infrastructure, prepared by SJG, last revised October 21, 2014.
- Expert Report prepared by Bennett Trenchless Engineers, dated August 18, 2014.
- Letter from Robert Fischer, Chief Engineer of NJ Turnpike Author4ity to Mr. Steven R. Ewing, dated July 14, 2014.
- Map of Alternative Routes, prepared by Woodard & Curran.
- PJM's 2014 Regional Transmission Exansion Plan, approval to proceed with changes to plan, July 22, 2014.
In January of 2017, the NJDEP Green Acres Program, which provides funding for open space, made a determination that the ball field in Upper Township (the site of the proposed valve station for the South Jersey Gas pipeline) should be included in the municipality's Recreation and Open Space Inventory. By this determination, the land is encumbered with preservation restrictions that limit use and disposal of the property as parkland.