Saturday, December 14, 2013

NJ Pinelands gas pipeline touted; Commissioner tossed

New Jersey environmental officials on Friday spoke out in favor of a proposed pipeline plan through the Pinelands, saying it would drastically reduce air pollution in the region by enabling an old coal-burning power plant to use cleaner natural gas. At the same meeting, Pinelands Commissioner Ed LLoyd--a critic of the proposal--removed himself from the debate on orders of the state Attorney General  
The Associated Press's Wayne Parry reports:

Three air quality officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection spoke at a Pinelands Commission hearing in favor of a hotly debated plan to run a 22-mile natural gas plant through the environmentally sensitive and legally protected Pinelands region so that it can connect to the BL England power plant in Cape May County.
[Attorney General's Office tells Commission member Ed Lloyd to exit the debate]

Frank Steitz, assistant director of the DEP's air quality permitting division, said his agency issued an air quality plan for the project in April. He said enabling BL England to switch to natural gas will double its efficiency and drastically reduce pollution in the region. The plant signed an agreement with the DEP to switch to natural gas.
He said the changeover will cut the plant's carbon dioxide emissions in half, virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions that can contribute to acid rain and reduce mercury emissions 94 percent.

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"It's an older plant, over 50 years old, and it's the last coal plant in New Jersey without a good air pollution control," said William O'Sullivan, the DEP's air quality director. "This plant burns the highest sulfur coal in New Jersey. By far, gas is the cleanest option."
Read the entire storyNJ backs Pinelands pipe plan for air benefits

Related environmental news stories:
Cape May Freeholders Support Pinelands Pipe Plan
Backers and opponents of controversial natural gas line in Pinelands go head-to-head 
Jobs vs. environment in Pinelands pipe plan fracas 
Disputed gas pipeline gets NJ Pinelands hearing tonight

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