New Jersey Natural Gas Pipeline - Updates
The “Southern Reliability Link” is a proposed 30-mile, 722 psi natural gas pipeline running from Chesterfield in Burlington County to Manchester in Ocean County, through Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in the New Jersey Pinelands, proposed by New Jersey Natural Gas. Approximately 10 miles are within Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The proposed route passes through the Joint Base which is located in the Preservation Area of the Pinelands National Reserveas designated by the statutory Pinelands Protection Act. The Preservation Area is the heart of the Pine Barrens ecosystem and home to many threatened and endangered species. It is supposed to get the highest level of protection.
The Pinelands Commission voted on September 14th to approve the New Jersey Natural Gas pipeline. The Commission continues it track record of approving gas pipeline projects that violate the rules that protect the Pinelands (having approved the South Jersey Gas pipeline in February).
Read our press release about the decision here.
Former Commission chair, Mark Lohbaur made a very strong case against the pipeline project and clearly explained how it violates the Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP). Despite his statement the final vote was Commission 8 YES votes for the pipeline, 4 NO votes, 1 abstention, 2 did not vote at all. See the vote and Commissioner Lohbauer's statement on YouTube here.
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
- Did Not Vote (wasn’t present) Bob Barr, Governor appointee
- YES William Brown, Cape May County appointee
- YES Joe Chila, Gloucester County appointee
- Did Not Vote (VACANT) U.S. Secretary of the Interior appointee
- YES Jane Jannarone, Cumberland County appointee
- ABSTAINED 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:
PPA currently has appeals pending on Pinelands Commission resolutions PC4-16-43 and PC4-17-10, which establish the rushed, unlawful process by which the Pinelands Commission reviewed the New Jersey Natural Gas application. These appeals are before the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.
PPA, alongside Bordentown Township and Chesterfield Township, has appealed the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection permits and the Board of Public Utilities approvals.
Remember: this isn’t the end. The pipeline still needs approval from the United States Air Force, and they will be opening up another public comment period soon. We will let you know when that happens.
The US Air Force conducted an Environmental Assessment and it can be found on the New Jersey Natural Gas website (https://www.njng.com/about/southern-reliability-link/joint-base-draft-environmental-assessment.asp).
The purpose of the draft Environmental Assessment is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts from the construction, maintenance and operation of a segment of the SRL pipeline. Public comment on the Environmental Assessment has closed.
Pinelands Preservation Alliance has identified defects in the Environmental Assessment that must be addressed. Click here to read the document.
Read PPA's full comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment below
PPA released an expert report showing this pipeline is an over-priced, unnecessary ineffective solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
Read the Skipping Stone report here.
Read the comments PPA submitted to the Pinelands Commission on August 2, 2017.
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