Crowd debate Wharton roads, pipeline

Georgina Shanley, of Ocean City, and others protest at the September meeting in which the Pinelands Commission gave final approval for New Jersey Gas Co.’s natural gas pipeline across a northern fringe of the Pinelands. Sept. ,14, 2017 (Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer)

Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer

The New Jersey Sierra Club filed suit last week against the Pinelands Commission over its approval of New Jersey Natural Gas Co.’s proposed 28-mile pipeline, some of which crosses a northern part of the Pinelands.

The club said in a press statement it believes the Pinelands Commission violated its Comprehensive Management Plan and the Pinelands Protection Act by approving the pipeline, and in the manner in which it was done.

It is the second time the Sierra Club has sued the commission over the natural-gas pipeline.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups have taken legal action also against South Jersey Gas’ proposed pipeline from Maurice River Township to Beesley’s Point in Upper Township, which would allow the B.L. England Generating Plant to convert from coal and oil to natural gas.

Price hike at national parks: The National Park Service is inviting public comment on its proposal to more than double fees to enter its 17 most-visited parks during peak seasons.

One-week entry fees, now $25 to $30, would rise to $70 per vehicle at Shenandoah National Park and Acadia in the East and Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Yosemite in the West.

The extra $70 million a year on top of the $200 million per year now collected would be used to address a maintenance backlog, according to NPS.

Comments may be made through Nov. 23 at parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates or mailed to 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop: 2346, Washington, DC 20240.

A Care2 petition demanding the National Park Service stop its proposal has about 7,000 signatures at thepetitionsite.com/254/666/488.

Pinelands Preservation Alliance grant: The Pinelands Preservation Alliance, based in Southampton Township, Burlington County, is one of eight nonprofits nationwide to receive a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for resilience projects to improve natural ecosystem protections.

PPA will promote natural revegetation, sediment collection and dune formation along 66 miles of back beach area, according to the foundation.

NFWF worked with Wells Fargo to start the Resilient Communities program this year. It is awarding a total of $2 million to the eight groups, which will generate $11 million in matching contributions, the foundation said. PPA is receiving $200,000, and with matching funds the total project funding will be $336,000.

N.J. a top Tree City state: New Jersey is in the top five states with the most communities who have received The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA award, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP said 154 communities have earned the award. The Tree City USA program helps communities manage, protect and increase their number of trees, according to DEP.

Ohio tops the list with 243 communities, followed by Wisconsin with 193, Illinois’ 181 and Florida’s 179.

For more information about the program, visit arborday.org.

Contact: 609-272-7219 MPost@pressofac.com Twitter: @MichelleBPost Facebook.com/Environment SouthJersey

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.