Monday, May 1, 2017

New Jersey Natural Gas has requested an easement in Seaside Park as part of a project to build a new gas line from the mainland, under Barnegat Bay

New Jersey Natural Gas has requested an easement in Seaside Park as part of a project to build a new gas line from the mainland, under Barnegat Bay, connecting to an area near the Seaside Park Yacht Club.

However, borough officials discussed their hesitation in signing the agreement, at the advice of the borough attorney, who will ask for additional documents from NJNG and the yacht club and hopes to have a meeting with all parties involved before the paperwork progresses.

NJNG has a Southern Seaside Reliability Project planned, one of six major gasline projects on the Jersey Shore called NJ RISE, an acronym for NJ Reinvestment in System Enhancement project proposed after Superstorm Sandy.

NJNG Spokesperson Mike Kenney said the Seaside project aims to create redudancy to the barrier island. What happened after Sandy is that the entire barrier island needed to be re-pressurized and was not receiving gas following the disaster. Adding a more southernly, second line, to the barrier island would mean tens of thousands of NJNG customers would not be cut off from their gas utility in the event of an emergency, because a second line would be available.

The project as it stands now would lead from the Good Luck Point part of Berkeley, Bayview Drive, and then head under the bay to connect with Bayview Drive in Seaside Park, near the yacht club. From there, it would connect with the existing gasline.

The South Seaside Reinforcement Project would have NJNG contractors drilling using “horizontal directional drilling” technology, which is a trenchless system. It would lay 9,000 linear feet of a natural gas distribution main.

Seaside Park officials said the agreements NJNG was attempting to have the borough and the yacht club sign as part of the project needed further explanation.

The questions as to what the easement agreement, compensation and other details were between the yacht club and the NJNG were of concern of Seaside Park Borough Council, who had the paperwork as a discussion item at its last council workshop meeting.

The borough would like to know what compensation the yacht club is receiving to house NJNG equipment and connect to its parcel, which the borough believes may be borough property leased to the yacht club.

Mayor Robert W. Matthies Jr. tasked the borough attorney with responding to the request with one for the information the borough was looking for, and possibly setting up a meeting between Seaside Park, the utility company and the yacht club.

Kinney said the project would not begin until late fall. Drilling for the project would be 80 feet under the bay, so as to protect the gasline and also so as not to disturb marine life or marine traffic.

A CAFRA permit public notice was recently published, asking for any public comment on the Seaside project, which was already approved by the BPU as part of the NJ RISE application.

The other local spots of NJ RISE include infrastructure in Sea Bright, and another “second feed” to Long Beach Island via Dock Road in West Creek to Barnegat Light.

Through the five-year, $102.5 million NJ RISE initiative, NJNG aims “to enhance the resiliency of its natural gas distribution and transmission systems and help mitigate the impact of major weather events in the future.”

Kinney said an additional component of NJ Rise is to install approximately 35,000 excess flow valves in potential storm-affected areas. This would restrict the gas flow when there is a change in pressure on the service line.

The CAFRA permit public notice seeks that anyone seeking to comment on the permit or who requests a hearing on the project contact the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Land Use Regulation at PO Box 420, Code 501-02A, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420 at the attention of Berkeley Township or Seaside Park Bureau Chief.

The problem NJNG had during Sandy was there were no homes in any shape to receive the gas! If homes are washed away or otherwise compromised, NJNG would rightly TURN THE GAS OFF! Just as they did durning Sandy. The RISE Project, as well as SJG and The SRL are all for export or future development, not 'reliability or redundancy` Of course if they admitted that, they wouldn't be able to charge the ratepayers to build the pipe.



New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG), the regulated subsidiary of New Jersey Resources (NJR), today filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) seeking recovery of costs associated with its NJ Reinvestment in System Enhancement (NJ RISE) and Safety Acceleration and Facility Enhancement (SAFE II) programs. If approved, the typical residential heating customer using 100 therms a month would see an increase of $0.68, or 0.65 percent, on their monthly bill.

“We never stop working to ensure safe, reliable service for our customers,” said Mariellen Dugan, senior vice president and chief operating officer of New Jersey Natural Gas. “It’s our top priority and the most important thing we do. The investments we are making in NJ RISE and SAFE II strengthen the integrity of our system and enable us to better meet our customers’ expectations.”

Through NJ RISE, approved by the BPU in 2014, NJNG is investing $102.5 million for a series of capital projects designed to help mitigate the impact of major weather events by enhancing the resiliency of its natural gas distribution and transmission systems. The projects include the installation of secondary natural gas feeds into Sea Bright, Long Beach Island and the Seaside Peninsula, as well as the relocation of a regulator station from Mantoloking to the mainland and two regulator station reinforcement projects in Mantoloking and Long Beach Island, respectively. Additionally, NJNG is installing excess flow valves, which restrict the flow of natural gas when there is a change in pressure, on all distribution services in coastal communities that may be impacted by storm surges and flooding. These upgrades will help minimize the number and duration of outages, improve NJNG’s ability to respond to and control service disruptions and enhance the safety and reliability of its system.

In 2016, the BPU approved NJNG’s SAFE II program to replace the remaining approximately 276 miles of unprotected steel main and associated services in the company’s distribution system. NJNG has been routinely addressing the replacement of these facilities, and in 2015 became the first natural gas utility in New Jersey to eliminate all cast iron from its system.

For both projects, NJNG is allowed to earn an Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC) rate on its invested capital during construction and request rate increases for related spending in annual filings over the duration of the programs. Pending BPU approval, NJNG is seeking to adjust its rates effective October 1, 2017 to recover approximately $31.4 million of related NJ RISE and SAFE II costs made through June 30, 2017, resulting in a base rate increase of $4.3 million.

About New Jersey Resources
New Jersey Resources (NJR) is a Fortune 1000 company that, through its subsidiaries, provides safe and reliable natural gas and clean energy services, including transportation, distribution, asset management and home services. NJR is comprised of five primary businesses:
  • New Jersey Natural Gas, NJR’s principal subsidiary, operates and maintains over 7,300 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve over half a million customers in New Jersey’s Monmouth, Ocean and parts of Morris, Middlesex and Burlington counties.
  • NJR Energy Services manages a diversified portfolio of natural gas transportation and storage assets and provides physical natural gas services and customized energy solutions to its customers across North America.
  • NJR Clean Energy Ventures invests in, owns and operates solar and onshore wind projects with a total capacity of nearly 280 megawatts, providing residential and commercial customers with low-carbon solutions.
  • NJR Midstream serves customers from local distributors and producers to electric generators and wholesale marketers through its 50 percent equity ownership in the Steckman Ridge natural gas storage facility and its stake in Dominion Midstream Partners, L.P., as well as its 20 percent equity interest in the PennEast Pipeline Project.
  • NJR Home Services provides service contracts as well as heating, central air conditioning, water heaters, standby generators, solar and other indoor and outdoor comfort products to residential homes throughout New Jersey.
NJR and its more than 1,000 employees are committed to helping customers save energy and money by promoting conservation and encouraging efficiency through Conserve to Preserve® and initiatives such as The SAVEGREEN Project® and The Sunlight Advantage®.
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