Pinelands Commission to hold pipeline hearing Monday in Galloway

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Pinelands Commission to hold pipeline hearing Monday in Galloway Pinelands Commission to hold pipeline hearing Monday in Galloway

GALLOWAY - The New Jersey Pinelands Commission will hold a public hearing 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9 in the Municipal Complex, 300 E. Jimmie Leeds Road, on a proposed pipeline to run through the Pinelands.

The purpose of the hearing is to elicit comment on a proposed memorandum of agreement between the Pinelands Commission and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, according to the commission’s website.

“The MOA includes measures intended to afford an equivalent level of protection for the resources of the Pinelands that would be afforded through strict application of the forest area permitted use standards,” according to the commission. “Through this MOA, BPU would require South Jersey Gas to fund acquisition of lands adjacent to the pipeline, and expansion of the commission’s education and public outreach programs, including construction of a Pinelands education center within the Richard J. Sullivan Center at the Pinelands Commission’s offices.”

The process following the public hearing includes preparation of a report on the hearing and then a formal recommendation. 

The report would be presented to the 15-member Pinelands Commission board, which would then decide whether to approve the proposed arrangement.

The MOA would authorize the construction of approximately 15 miles of a 22-mile, 24-inch, high-pressure natural gas transmission line that would provide natural gas to allow the repowering of the B.L. England Plant in Beesley’s Point.

It would also address the vulnerability of the southernmost portion of the South Jersey Gas service territory to a single-feed disruption.

“The proposed gas pipeline would traverse through portions of both the state-designated Pinelands Area and the Pinelands National Reserve,” according to the Pinelands Commission website. “With regard to the portion in the Pinelands Area, the proposal is to construct approximately 15-miles of pipeline beneath existing paved portions and/or disturbed shoulders of existing roads. Approximately 10.2 miles of the proposed pipeline would be located within a Pinelands-designated Forest Area, 2 miles within a Pinelands designated Rural Development Area and 2.8 miles in a Pinelands Village.”

The proposed pipeline is not fully consistent with the Forest Area permitted use standards contained in the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan.

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