State of New Jersey
Executive Order #12

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

This executive order has been rescinded by Order No. 13 (Whitman).

WHEREAS, a natural gas transmission pipeline located in the Township of Edison, County of Middlesex, exploded on or about midnight on March 24, 1994; and

WHEREAS, it has been reported that an approximately 150-foot fire stream erupted from the pipeline following the explosion which caused the destruction of nine buildings in the Durham Woods Apartment Complex; and

WHEREAS, it has been reported that hundreds of residents residing in a one-quarter mile area of the scene were evacuated; and

WHEREAS, an investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of such explosion and the extent of fatalities and/or personal injury, if any, as well as additional property damage; and

WHEREAS, until the results of said investigation are known, we must take every precaution to ensure that similar pipeline failures do not occur; and

WHEREAS, the conditions caused by the explosion and fire pose a threat and constitute a disaster which threatens and presently endangers the health, safety or resources of the residents of Edison Township, which threat and endangerment may be too large in scope to be handled in its entirety by the normal county and municipal operating services; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution and Statutes of the State of New Jersey, particularly, but not limited to, the provisions of the Laws of 1942, Chapter 251 (N.J.S.A. App: A:9-33 et seq.) and the Laws of 1963, Chapter 109 (N.J.S.A. 38A:2-4) and all amendments and supplements thereto, confer upon the Governor of the State of New Jersey certain emergency powers;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of the State of New Jersey do declare and proclaim:

1. A State of Emergency has and presently exists in this State.

2. The Acting Superintendent of the Division of State Police shall provide State Troopers and other personnel assigned to the Division of State Police, in such numbers as he deems necessary to protect the health, safety and resources of the residents of the Township of Edison and the State of New Jersey.

3. The Superintendent of the Division of State Police is further authorized and empowered to utilize all facilities owned, rented, operated and maintained by the State of New Jersey to house and shelter persons who may need to be evacuated from their residences during the course of this emergency.

4. The Superintendent of the Division of State Police is hereby authorized to order the evacuation of all persons, except for those emergency and governmental personnel whose presence he deems necessary, from any area where their continued presence would present a danger to their health, safety or welfare because of the conditions created by this emergency.

5. The Department heads of the various agencies of State Government who are called upon to provide assistance during this State of Emergency shall lend their assistance and take appropriate action to ensure the protection of the health, safety and resources of the residents of the Township of Edison and the State of New Jersey, due to this emergency.

6. Until the results of the investigation are known, all natural gas suppliers having gas transmission lines in this State shall reduce transmission pipeline pressure by five (5) percent of the Maximum Available Operating Pressure (MAOP) and coordinate said reduction with gas distribution entities to ensure the safety of all customers and continuity of service. The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and Energy and President of the Board of Regulatory Commissioners shall meet, as soon as practicable, with representatives of the affected natural gas suppliers and representatives of the gas utilities doing business in the State to obtain any recommendations for any adjustments or modifications deemed necessary to this Paragraph and to ensure its safe implementation.

7. This Order shall take effect immediately and it shall remain in effect until such time as it is determined by me that an emergency no longer exists.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 25th day of March in the Year
of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety Four, and of
the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Eighteenth.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman


/s/ Peter Verniero
Chief Counsel to the Governor