Proposed Memorandum of Agreement between the Pinelands Commission and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:50-4.52(c)3, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission will conduct a public hearing on a proposed Memorandum of Agreement (“proposed MOA”) between the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (the “BPU”) and the New Jersey Pinelands Commission ("Pinelands Commission"). The proposed MOA would authorize the construction of approximately 15 miles of a 22-mile, 24-inch, high-pressure natural gas transmission line. This pipeline would provide natural gas to allow the repowering of the B.L. England (BLE) Plant and would also address the vulnerability of the southernmost portion of South Jersey Gas’ (SJG) service territory to a single-feed disruption. The proposed gas pipeline would traverse through portions of both the State-designated Pinelands Area (the “Pinelands Area”) and the Pinelands National Reserve (the “PNR”) (referred to together herein as the “Pinelands”). With regard to the portion in the Pinelands Area, the proposal is to construct approximately 15-miles of pipeline beneath existing paved portions and/or disturbed shoulders of existing roads. Approximately 10.2 miles of the proposed pipeline would be located within a Pinelands-designated Forest Area, 2 miles within a Pinelands designated Rural Development Area and 2.8 miles in a Pinelands Village. The proposed pipeline is not fully consistent with the Forest Area permitted use standards (N.J.A.C. 7:50-5.23(b)12) contained in the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan.
The public hearing will be conducted in the Galloway Township Municipal Building, 300 E. Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway, NJ.
DATE: Monday, December 9, 2013
TIME: 5:00 p.m.
The purpose of the hearing is to elicit comment on the proposed MOA. The proposed MOA includes measures intended to afford an equivalent level of protection for the resources of the Pinelands that would be afforded through strict application of the Forest Area permitted use standards. Through this MOA, BPU would require SJG to fund acquisition of lands adjacent to the pipeline, and expansion of the Commission’s education and public outreach programs, including construction of a Pinelands education center within the Richard J. Sullivan Center at the Pinelands Commission’s offices.
The process following the public hearing includes the preparation of a report on the hearing and a formal recommendation regarding the proposed MOA. This Executive Director’s report will be presented to the 15-member Pinelands Commission board, which will decide whether to approve the proposed MOA.
The MOA is available on the Commission's website. To view the pdf document (click here). In addition, the proposed MOA as well as its supporting materials are available for public inspection and copying at the Pinelands Commission office. These documents also can be reviewed below:
Threatened & Endangered Species Habitat Suitability Report (Cumberland, Atlantic & Cape May Counties)
Threatened & Endangered Species Habitat Suitability Report (Upper Township)
Threatened & Endangered Species Habitat Suitability Report (Storage locations)
Cultural Resources Survey
Archaeological Survey & Historic Architectural Screening
Power Grid Engineering & Markets Report (Repowering)
Power Grid Engineering & Markets Report (Updated Analysis)
Cost Allocation Study
NJDEP Air Quality Benefit Analysis of BL England
Anyone interested in obtaining further information may call the Pinelands Commission, Communications Office at (609) 894-7300.
Please note, given the large number of individuals that are anticipated to attend and present comment at the public hearing, all speakers will be limited to 3 minutes. Speakers are encouraged to prepare a written version of their comments so that, should they run out of time, their full comments may still be presented to the Commission. Additionally, all written testimony and comments will be appended to the Executive Director’s report, which will also include a summary of the oral testimony presented at the hearing. Written testimony may be submitted at the hearing or sent directly to the Pinelands Commission office, 15 Springfield Road, P.O. Box 359, New Lisbon, New Jersey 08064, or via facsimile (609) 894-7330 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than December 13, 2013. The comment period will CLOSE at 5:00 p.m. on December 13, 2013.