Plan to put gas pipeline in Pinelands spurs ire

dogg57

Piney
Jan 22, 2007
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Southern NJ
southjerseyphotos.com
A proposal to build a natural gas pipeline across 14 miles of the New Jersey Pinelands drew an angry crowd Friday to the Pinelands Commission's offices in Pemberton, where dozens of speakers urged commissioners to veto the plan. "Put a stake through the heart of this monster," Victor Maene of the environmental group 350.ORG told the commission's policy and implementation committee. South Jersey Gas Corp., based in Atlantic County, seeks to run a 22-mile natural gas pipeline from Maurice River Township, Cumberland County, to a proposed electrical-generation plant in Upper Township, Cape May County. Most of the line would run along the right-of-way of Route 49, buried under the road or grass shoulder. Eight miles would be outside the Pinelands, a 1.1 million expanse of protected pine and oak forest and sandy soil that is home to an 17-trillion-gallon aquifer.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
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Oct 12, 2004
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This is one of those things that I can totally see the benefit of doing, especially to get rid of a coal fired power plant but, at least in my opinion, the CMP trumps it. Once you let one pipeline in it's a slippery slope letting other things creep in.
 

Boyd

Super Moderator
Staff member
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Jul 31, 2004
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There's an existing pipeline that runs down the West shoulder of Rt 50 going South from Mays Landing. http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.40352151791928&lng=-74.74275954040525&z=14&type=terrain&gpx=

Not really sure where it goes. Perhaps it feeds the power plant in Beesley's Point?

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.29054371182117&lng=-74.63352926048276&z=16&type=nj2007&gpx=

There used to be a little building with equipment inside (pumps?) at this location

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.3968932574387&lng=-74.74735684665677&z=17&type=nj2007&gpx=

About a year ago, they tore the building down and now it's just a slab with the exposed pipeline and equipment. I drive past there frequently and watched them tear the building down. Was thinking there could have been a big boom if they weren't careful. :D
 

c1nj

Explorer
Nov 19, 2008
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Sometimes you have to pick your battles, the gas conversion is a positive step forward. One article I read stated that portions of the pipeline will be buried nearly 50 feet deep! The existing railroad right-of-way that services the power plant could also be removed to make up for any disturbances. People who live near the power plant have to wash black residue off their windows and lawn furniture on a regular basis from the coal.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
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Sometimes you have to pick your battles...
I tend to agree, especially when these projects tend to result in saving a lot of other land in exchange for the right to do something like this.

Then again, if this were planned to go through the pine plains and a cedar swamp or two, I'd be lying down in front of the bulldozers. :D

Still, I have not pushed myself one way or another on this project because I can't see the route.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
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camden county
I tend to agree, especially when these projects tend to result in saving a lot of other land in exchange for the right to do something like this.

Then again, if this were planned to go through the pine plains and a cedar swamp or two, I'd be lying down in front of the bulldozers. :D

Still, I have not pushed myself one way or another on this project because I can't see the route.
At least your honest.

I understand both takes of not letting anything happen because you can't let small battles be won. In my opinion right a ways hold some of the best habitat and over time i think they benefit the local species. But like I said I understand the whole small battle thing or breaking the cmp.
 

Boyd

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
http://www.nj.gov/pinelands/images/pdf files/SJGAS power point presentation (Final Draft with final edits).pdf

From a PPA e-mail I received today

Important points to note about the project application:

This pipeline would go under Mill Creek, the Tuckahoe River and Cumberland Pond. In order to achieve that Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) would occur in these locations which could mean going to a depth of 60 feet, according to Ms. Ellis. Slide #5 shows a schematic of what HDD is. There would be a total of 1.6 miles (cumulative) of HDD done. The rest of the pipeline would be four feet below the surface.

One 8,000 square foot Interconnect Station is proposed in the Forest Management Area requiring the clearing of vegetation over a large portion of that area and one 1,800 square foot Remote Operating Valve Station would be put in.

South Jersey Gas Company's application to the Pinelands Commission was deemed complete as of July 29, 2013. A map of Route A, the preferred route for the pipeline by South Jersey Gas, can be found on Slide #15.

Slide #18 says it all. It says "The CMP [Comprehensive Management Plan] permits the development of a gas main in a Forest Area provided it is intended to primarily serve only the needs of the Pinelands. The proposed project does not meet this standard."
routeA.jpg
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
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Oct 12, 2004
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I'm all for less coal fired power plants, and generally would be okay with the idea of a pipeline being built, but I feel that we're at a critical time for preserving the Pinelands. The CMP seems to be constantly under fire. The Pinelands Commission seems to be more about politics than actual Pinelands preservation. And, we have a Governor (whom I generally support) who will push and push and push to get his way. If he supported this I have no doubt that things would get ugly very quickly.

It only takes one "exception" to the CMP to basically make it worthless.
 

johnnyb

Explorer
Feb 22, 2013
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The following letter was hand delivered, and receipt acknowledged, to the Pinelands Commission, published in letters to the editor of the Trenton "Times" and sent to the editor of the Burlington County "Times":
12 Aug 2013
The New Jersey Pinelands Commission
15 Springfield Road
Pemberton, NJ 08068

Gentlemen and Ladies:
Subject: An Application to Construct a Gas Pipeline through the Pinelands Forest Management Area
I’ve been a taxpayer, land owner, and resident of the State of New Jersey for over 60 years and of Burlington County since 1956. I recently retired from, and was privileged to have served on, a Township Zoning Board for 25 years, most recently as its Vice Chairman.
That experience taught me much.
To those of you who serve on the Pinelands Commission: upon taking office you swore an oath or affirmed that you would uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of New Jersey. Doing so bound you to do what the laws require, and to serve the people, ALL the people, of the United States and of the State of New Jersey.
Your service requires you to uphold the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan.
Do so.
Just say NO.
Not very complicated really.
There will be all sorts of simple and of sophisticated arguments as to why you should vote to violate the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan, that plan that you swore an oath to uphold.
That’s all they are - arguments. Or justifications. Not good reasons or justifications, just arguments.
Those who wrote the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan decades ago had faced great pressure from those wanting to destroy the Pinelands in the name of “progress”. The writers well knew that those kinds of pressures would arise again in various forms, and wrote the Plan accordingly .
There will be pressures applied by sources from high and low, urging you to violate your oath.
So do your job, honor your oath.
Just say NO.
Having done so, you will always feel that you’ve done the right thing. People in the future will thank you for having the courage to protect for them the things over which you have control today.
Sincerely,
John W. Bornholdt
 
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dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
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camden county
Reality is right a ways usually enhance the wildlife in an area. I understand them not wanting to give on anything but I just don't think this is that big of a deal. There are far worse threats that we shouldn't give in to. But i understand people not wanting to lose any battles.
 

Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
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Trenton
They should have put the gas line under the middle of the roads like every other place and that would have solved most of the problems.