As the PInelands Commission mulls the future of a proposed pipeline that starts deep in Burlington County and ends on Route 70 at Colonial Drive in Manchester, opponents gather near the end point to protest Saturday morning.

Colliers Mills in the Pinelands/New Jersey Pinelands Commission
Colliers Mills in the Pinelands/New Jersey Pinelands Commission

People Over Pipelnes, the New Jersey Sierra Club, and other groups amass at 10 AM in the ShopRite parking lot off Route 70. Today is the last day for public comments regarding the New Jersey Natural Gas Southern Reliability Link, which has a convoluted history.

The company touts the poject as a secondary source of natural gas for more than a million residents in portions of Ocean, Monmouth and Burlington Counties. An NJNG spokesman explained that it would be dormant except in the event of a failure in the existing line.

It's about 30 miles end-to-end, under existing roads, mostly on the grounds of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, traversing Chesterfield, North Hanover, Upper Freehold and Plumsted, then merging with NJNG's existing line.

Southern Reliability Link map (NJ Natural Gas)
Southern Reliability Link map (NJ Natural Gas)

About a dozen miles of it touches the Pinelands Preserve, and that is what rankles critics who simutaneously battled he South Jersey Gas Cape Atlantic Reliability Project which has yet to be fully resolved.

The path consists of:

  • Bordentown Chesterfield Road (CR 528)
  • Arneytown Chesterfield Road (CR 528/664)
  • Province Line Road
  • Monmouth Road (CR 537)
  • Hornerstown Road (CR 26)
  • Pinehurst Road (CR 539)
  • Lakewood Road (CR 528)
  • Fischer Road (CR 24)
  • West Colliers Mills Road (CR 640)
  • Pinehurst Road (CR 539)
  • Easement within Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
  • Easement along Route 70
  • Route 70 & Colonial Drive

Following approval earlier this year by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the Pinelands Commission issued an approval that lacked votes from the full panel.

Sierra Club won its court challenge to the action, requiring a new round of public comment. The Commission held one public hearing, last week in Toms River.

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