Pipeline through NJ protected pinelands approved

Protestors display signs during the New Jersey Pinelands Commission meeting in Cherry Hill, Friday Feb. 24, 2017, where approval was granted for a natural gas pipeline to cross protected state land.

Michael Ein / Staff Photographer

The state Pinelands Commission will hold a special meeting Wednesday to hear public comment on a pipeline planned for the northern end of the protected region.

At issue is New Jersey Natural Gas’ proposed Southern Reliability Link, a 28-mile gas pipeline that would touch land in Burlington, Ocean and Monmouth counties.

The commission previously approved the pipeline, a decision that was met with criticism from environmental groups. The New Jersey Sierra Club sued the state Board of Public Utilities and the Pinelands Commission over the pipeline approval, and the court remanded the decision to the commission, hence the new hearing.

Another pipeline approved earlier this year will carry natural gas from Maurice River Township to the B.L. England plant in Upper Township for South Jersey Gas. Part of that pipeline also is in the Pinelands.

The Pinelands Commission meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Pine Belt Arena, located at Toms River North High School, 1245 Old Freehold Road, Hooper Ave.

— Erin Serpico

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