The Latest: Hotly contested Pinelands pipeline approved

AP News
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Posted: Feb 24, 2017 11:25 AM
The Latest: Hotly contested Pinelands pipeline approved

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on vote to permit natural gas pipeline in New Jersey's federally protected Pinelands (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

New Jersey regulators have approved a measure allowing a natural gas pipeline to run through the federally protected Pinelands preserve.

The Pinelands Commission voted to permit the pipeline Friday. The issue has been one of the northeast region's most hotly contested energy proposals.

The vote ends a classic jobs-versus-environment battle in the nation's most densely populated state, although environmentalists are expected to try to appeal the decision.

South Jersey Gas proposes to run the pipe mostly under or alongside existing roads to the B.L. England power plant in Upper Township.

Supporters say it will increase energy reliability, while environmentalists fear damage to the pristine Pinelands preserve.

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

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10:20 a.m.

Hundreds of chanting protesters are disrupting a meeting at which New Jersey regulators plan to vote on a hotly contested natural gas pipeline plan.

Chanting "Do the right thing!" opponents of the pipeline are preventing the New Jersey Pinelands Commission from voting on the pipeline plan.

The agency is expected to make a final determination on the proposal that has touched off a classic jobs-versus-environment battle in the nation's most densely populated state.

Supporters say it will increase energy reliability. 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 Gov. Chris Christie has replaced several Pinelands commissioners with supporters of the pipeline.

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9:45 a.m.

A hearing on whether a hotly contested natural gas pipeline should run through a federally protected forest preserve in New Jersey is underway.

More than 700 people have gathered in a hotel ballroom in Cherry Hill for a meeting of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.

The agency is expected to make a final determination on the proposal that has touched off a classic jobs-versus-environment battle in the nation's most densely populated state.

Supporters say it will increase energy reliability. 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 Gov. Chris Christie has replaced several Pinelands commissioners with supporters of the pipeline.

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9:30 a.m.

About 500 people have filled a hotel ballroom as New Jersey regulators prepare to vote on whether a natural gas pipeline should run through the state's federally protected Pinelands region.

The Pinelands Commission on Friday is expected to make a final determination on the proposal that has touched off a classic jobs-versus-environment battle in the nation's most densely populated state.

Supporters say it will increase energy reliability. 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 Gov. Chris Christie has replaced several Pinelands commissioners with supporters of the pipeline.

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5 a.m.

New Jersey regulators are set to vote on whether a natural gas pipeline should run through the state's federally protected Pinelands region, which includes more than a million acres of farms, forests and wetlands.

The Pinelands Commission is expected to make its final determination Friday morning.

The proposal has touched off a classic jobs-versus-environment battle in the nation's most densely populated state.

South Jersey Gas is proposing to run the pipeline mostly under or alongside existing roads to the B.L. England power plant in Upper Township.

Supporters say it will increase energy reliability, while environmentalists fear damage to the pristine Pinelands region.

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