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Take Action South Jersey Gas Pipeline

We know you are disappointed that the Pinelands Commission voted on February 24th to approve the South Jersey Gas pipeline. Disappointed isn’t even the right word. It is impossible to understand how the agency that is supposed to protect the Pinelands National Reserve refuses to implement its own rules.


The Pinelands Commission - after a great deal of protest from the audience - did eventually vote to approve the South Jersey Gas pipeline. One Commissioner, former chair, Mark Lohbaur made a motion to table the vote in light of the fact that the Commissioners needed more time to consider information that had just come in the night before. That vote failed to carry.

The final vote was 9 for the pipeline, 5 against the pipeline and 1 abstention. The Commission requires 8 affirmative votes to approve any action.

Here is how they voted:

YES Sean Earlen, Burlington County appointee

YES Paul E. Galletta, Atlantic County appointee

NO Candace McKee Ashmun, Governor appointee

YES Alan Avery, Ocean County appointee

YES Bob Barr, Governor appointee

YES William Brown, Cape May County appointee

YES Joe Chila, Gloucester County appointee

ABSTAINED Frank Hays, U.S. Secretary of the Interior appointee

YES Jane Jannarone, Cumberland County appointee

NO Edward Lloyd, Governor appointee

NO Mark Lohbaur, Governor appointee

YES Edward McGlinchey, Camden County appointee

NO Richard Prickett, Governor appointee

YES Gary Quinn, Governor appointee

NO D’Arcy Rohan Green, Governor appointee

 

What Happens Next:

Another pipeline is going to be coming up for consideration by the Pinelands Commission in the near future - the New Jersey Natural Gas pipeline (known as the Southern Reliability Link). It will likely be handled the same way that the South Jersey Gas pipeline was. Please stay in touch with us. We will keep you informed.

Next Steps South Jersey Gas pipeline:

  1. On March 27th PPA filed an appeal against the Commission's decision to approve the South Jersey Gas pipeline.
  2. We currently have an appeal pending with the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court objecting to the rushed and informal process the Pinelands Commission adopted to review pipeline applications, after the Court reversed a decision by the Commission’s executive director that the full Commission could not vote on such cases. That appeal challenges resolutions that the Pinelands Commission passed during its December 9, 2016 meeting (resolution PC4-16-42 and PC4-16-43) in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. Resolution PC4-16-42 was passed in order to address the November 2016 Appellate Division decision which found that only the full Commission can approve a development like the proposed South Jersey Gas pipeline (Pinelands Application No. 2012-0056.001). Resolution PC4-16-43 demonstrates the Commission’s intention to apply the unlawful review procedure to the Commission’s consideration of an additional development project, New Jersey Natural Gas Company’s Southern Reliability Link.

What You Can Do:

We can’t stop working for the Pinelands. Here are important things you can do:

Our next Governor must make protecting Pinelands a priority!

The following people are running for governor in New Jersey this year. Let them know that protecting New Jersey’s Pinelands National Reserve is a top priority for you. Here is a sample statement:

“The Pinelands Commission is in terrible trouble and needs to be fixed. This independent state agency has lost its way and is endangering the future of the Pinelands. Its staff recommended approval of the South Jersey Gas pipeline project in violation of Pinelands protection rule. New Jersey’s Pinelands won’t survive if we don’t enforce the rules that protect it.”

Phil Murphy

(973) 825-2017
email: info@murphy4nj.com
web: www.murphy4nj.com

Kim Guadagno

Phone: (609) 292-6000 (Office of the Governor)
web: www.kimfornj.com


Pinelands Commission Appointments

The 15 Pinelands Commissioners have the power to protect or harm the Pinelands. They serve voluntarily are appointed either by the Freeholders of the seven Pinelands counties or by the Governor with approval from the Senate. There is also one person appointed as a federal representative from the Department of the Interior.

You can learn more about all 15 Commissioners here.

County Appointees

7 Commissioners are appointed from the 7 Pinelands Counties - Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Ocean

If you live in a Pinelands county you need to be in touch with your Freeholder board. They need to know that you are watching their appointments to the Pinelands Commission. All county appointees voted in favor of the pipeline.

Sample script: "Hi. My name is (xxx) and I am a resident of (county). I am deeply concerned about the protection of our environment. I want to register my disapproval of the way our Pinelands Commissioner (Name) voted on the South Jersey Gas pipeline on February 24th. I urge you, in your next appointment, to choose someone who will stand up for the Pinelands. I urge you to choose someone who will protect our water and the natural resources that we are so proud of in this county."

Click here for information on how to contact your Freeholder board and for a list of meetings.

Governor’s Appointees

7 Commissioners are appointed by Governor with approval from the New Jersey Senate. You should be in touch with your state Senators and make sure they know that their constituents care deeply about the Pinelands.

Find out who your state Senator is here:

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp

Sample script: "Hi. My name is (xxx) and I am a resident of (town). I am deeply concerned about the protection of our environment. I want to register my disapproval of the actions of the Pinelands Commission. On February 24th by a vote of 9-5 they approved the construction of the South Jersey Gas pipeline against the rules that protect the Pinelands. New Jersey's Senators must approve the Governor's appointments to the Pinelands Commission. I urge you to choose someone who will stand up for the Pinelands. I urge you to choose someone who will protect our water and the natural resources that we are so proud of in this state."


Background Information

You can review the Executive Director February 17th report recommending approval of the SJ Gas pipeline project here.

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. 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. 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.

Letter from Terry Moore

Letter from Robert McIntosh

Letter from John Stokes

Pinelands Preservation Alliance - Official Comments and Expert Reports Submitted in Opposition to the South Jersey Gas Project

Download our comments and expert reports submitted in opposition to the South Jersey Gas pipeline project here. We hope this helps inform you continued activism against this project.

Click here for all comments and expert reports.

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