The Board of Public Utilities, BPU, with hold a public hearing on the proposal by South Jersey Gas to put a 24 inch gas pipeline through 15 miles of the protected Pinelands. It is critical for people to come out to this meeting to express opposition to this pipeline, June 17th at 3:30 & again at 6PM, Upper Township Community Center, 1790 Rt-50, Tuckahoe.
The Pinelands Commission rejected a Memorandum of Agreement regarding this pipeline in a January 2014 vote.
The MOA was between the BPU and the Pinelands Commission (even though South Jersey Gas is behind the pipeline. MOA’s can only be between government entities in this context. The Christie administration did not like that so he removed some members who voted no and replaced them with members that will vote yes
So this is why we are back at the BPU, the first step in the process. South Jersey Gas has resubmitted an application – very similar to their last application but they now claim that more residents of the Pinelands area will benefit form this pipeline. If the BPU approves it (at a later date not at this meeting) the proposal will move again to the (now friendlier to the pipeline) Pinelands Commission.
The main argument against this pipeline is that the Pinelands were preserved from development like this and there are special exceptions to allow development like this in the Pinelands. But those procedures are not being followed.