BL England

There is no longer a need for a South Jersey Gas pipeline to the B.L. England electric plant in Beesleys Point, after the plant owner said in court papers Wednesday it no longer plans to repower the facility.

A coalition representing businesses and labor groups asked the Superior Court of New Jersey to uphold a key decision on the South Jersey Gas Cape Atlantic Reliability Project, according to the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

The project is intended to ensure energy reliability for thousands of residents and businesses in Cape May and Atlantic counties and to reduce environmental impacts by converting the coal-fired B.L. England plant to cleaner natural gas, the chamber said.

The brief filed Monday outlines the legal support for the Pinelands Commission’s approval of the project earlier this year, the chamber said.

In 2016, the same court said the project is “reasonably necessary for the service, convenience or welfare of the public.”

The New Jersey Sierra Club, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and others oppose the 22-mile pipeline, which would run from Maurice River Township to Upper Township. Part of it would cross protected Pinelands Forest Area, under pavement and along existing roads.

Supporters say the pipeline also will provide a backup supply route for natural gas to more than 142,000 customers in Atlantic and Cape May counties, who are currently served by a single line.

A new pipeline will make them less vulnerable to a service outage in the event of a natural disaster or accident.

“The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce remains firmly in support of this much-needed project,” Vicki Clark, president of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

Staff Writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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