Pipeline through NJ protected pinelands approved

Sierra Club's Jeff Tittel celebrated a state Senate committee's decision not to vote on the nomination of Ed McGlinchey as a governor's appointee to the Pinelands Commission on Thursday. Here he vows that his organization will sue the commission over its approval of a South Jersey Gas pipeline during a meeting in Cherry Hill on Feb. 24, 2017.  

Michael Ein / Staff Photographer

Environmental groups celebrated Thursday after the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to vote on the nomination of Ed McGlinchey as a governor’s appointee to the 15-member Pinelands Commission.

Gov. Chris Christie recently nominated McGlinchey, who voted in favor of two pipelines through parts of the Pinelands, to be one of the governor’s seven appointees.

In another matter, the commission canceled its regularly scheduled Dec. 8 meeting for lack of a quorum. The meeting will instead be held Tuesday.

McGlinchey was Camden County’s representative on the commission from 2010 to this year, but he recently moved to Longport in Atlantic County. Camden County will now have to appoint a new commissioner.

McGlinchey voted in favor of the South Jersey Gas pipeline the commission approved to be built along roadsides through 10 miles of protected Pinelands Forest Area, and the New Jersey Natural Gas Co. pipeline that has been approved to run through parts of the northern Pinelands. Both pipelines are being held up by lawsuits from environmental groups.

“Today is a small victory for the Pines and for the public who work to protect it,” said New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel. “Thanks to the large public outcry and thousands of phone calls, we have managed to delay the vote for the pro-pipeline McGlinchey.”

McGlinchey served as Winslow Township’s public works manager and zoning officer for many years.

Environmental groups had speculated that Christie intended to replace environmental law expert Commissioner Edward Lloyd, who voted against both pipelines and is one of many gubernatorial appointees whose term has expired.

Lloyd joined the commission as a gubernatorial appointee in 2002 and is a clinical professor of environmental law at Columbia Law School.{p class=”gmail-msonormal”}“Christie is continuing to stack the commission with his pro-development cronies before Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has a chance to make his nominations,” said Tittel, who is a member of Murphy’s Transition Team for Environment and Energy. “We are urging Democrats to oppose this nomination so that Phil Murphy can make his own appointments in January.”

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Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Facebook.com/EnvironmentSouthJersey

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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