A report compiled by the professional staff of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission recommends that the agency approve a hotly-debated plan to build a natural gas pipeline through the protected Pinelands region.

Yellow line indicates proposed route of Pinelands pipeline (Pinelands Commission)

Paul Leakan, a spokesman for the commission, says the report recommends approval of the plan, which would bring natural gas to a Cape May County power plant that's switching from coal power.

The commission did not immediately release the report following a meeting of an advisory committee on Monday, but said it would do so later in the day.

South Jersey Gas would pay $8 million to a Pinelands fund to help clear the project's final hurdle. The deal would, in effect, exempt the pipeline from a ban on new transmission lines in the 1.1-million-acre Pinelands reserve.

 

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