Cape May County officials are backing a plan to build a natural gas pipeline through the protected Pinelands reserve to re-fuel an old coal-fired power plant.

Flickr User Kate Ausburn

The county's freeholder board passed a resolution Tuesday night in support of a plan by South Jersey Gas to build the 22-mile pipeline to connect with the BL England plant in Upper Township.

The company says the pipe would go under or next to existing roads. But environmentalists say the work will still damage the fragile reserve of woods and wetlands that are protected by federal and state laws.

South Jersey Gas would pay $8 million, most of which would fund land preservation. It also would build an education center conservation center for the state Pinelands Commission.

A vote is planned for Jan. 10.


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