Opposing sides face off at hearing on Pinelands pipeline

Supporters and foes of a proposal to run a natural gas pipeline through the New Jersey Pinelands faced off during a contentious public hearing in

A public meeting was held in Pemberton regarding

A public meeting was held in Pemberton regarding a plan to build a pipeline in the Pinelands. (Credit: File photo)

PEMBERTON - Supporters and foes of a proposal to run a natural gas pipeline through the New Jersey Pinelands faced off during a contentious public hearing in a packed room.

Dozens of people were denied entry to Tuesday's meeting in Pemberton when the room reached its capacity of about 250.

A leader of the Food and Water Watch environmental group was escorted from the room by state police after she began yelling at commissioners to protest that so many people were being made to stand outside in the cold rain.

Pipeline foes unfurled a large banner that read "Stop The Pipeline" before the hearing but removed it soon afterward.

The pipelines would supply a power plant in Cape May County, switching from coal to natural gas.

The New Jersey Pinelands Commission rejected the plan in 2014, but the commission’s executive director then unilaterally approved it.

Opponents of the plan were able to get a court to order a new vote on the pipeline. That vote is expected to come next month.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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