Highly Contested Pinelands Pipeline Approved

Last Edited:

(Updated at 3:30 PM)

CHERRY HILL, N.J. - A hotly contested natural gas pipeline has gotten the go ahead by New Jersey regulators.

Hundreds of chanting protesters disrupted the New Jersey Pinelands Commission meeting on Friday morning as they prepared to vote on the natural gas pipeline plan.

Commissioners voted in favor of South Jersey Gas’ plan to run the pipeline mostly under or alongside existing roads from Maurice River Township in Cumberland County to the B.L. England Electric Generation Station in Cape May County's Upper Township.

Supporters said it will increase energy reliability. South Jersey Gas said that the pipeline would create jobs and lower air emissions. However, it will also address the energy demands for 142,000 customers in Atlantic and Cape May counties. However, environmentalists fear damage to the pristine Pinelands region, which includes more than a million acres of farms, forests, and wetlands.

The plan was narrowly defeated in 2014, but since then, Republican Governor Chris Christie has replaced several Pinelands commissioners with supporters of the pipeline.

Members of the South Jersey Community attended to hear the final decision on the approval the Pinelands Pipeline on February 24th in Cherry Hill. Photo taken by Brandon Panter.

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