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:
- On March 27th PPA filed an appeal against the Commission's decision to approve the South Jersey Gas pipeline.
- 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.”
Phone: (609) 292-6000 (Office of the Governor)
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.
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."
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:
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."
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.