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Pentagon Inspector General Asked To Investigate Joint Base Gas Pipeline Scheme

Scheme By Base Command, NJNG & Pinelands Staff To Mislead Regulators and Public

“Pretense of Military Purpose” Fabricated To Avoid Regulatory Scrutiny


The Honorable Jon T. Rymer

U.S. Department of Defense – Office of Inspector General

4800 Mark Center Drive

Alexandria, VA 22350-1500


Dear Inspector General Rymer:

I am writing to request your investigation of alleged unethical and/or improper conduct by military officials at Joint Base McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst NJ (Joint Base).

This request is based on open public testimony to the NJ Pinelands Commission on September 11, 2015 by a gentleman (hereafter “Mr. R”) regarding a proposed NJ Natural Gas Company Pipeline (NJNG).

This testimony makes deeply troubling claims based exclusively on quotes from emails between Joint Base officials and representatives of NJ Natural Gas Company (NJNG). The emails were obtained via a FOIA request.

The proposed route of that NJNG pipeline includes portions of Joint Base. The pipeline is subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the NJ Pinelands Commission in the federally established Pinelands National Reserve.

You can view the entirety of that Pinelands Commission September 11, 2015 public hearing at the following link – the relevant testimony by Mr. R begins at time 1:19:38 and ends at 1:22:10.

Mr. R claims that he is a former NJ Natural Gas Company employee.

Mr. R claims that Joint Base officials created a “pretense of a military purpose” for the proposed NJNG pipeline and that this pretense of a military purpose was concocted to avoid regulatory scrutiny and to streamline and assure approval of the pipeline by the Pinelands Commission.

Mr. R then makes specific disturbing allegations based on the text of emails he procured via a FOIA:

As you know, [a military purpose] affords the pipeline far less regulatory scrutiny and compliance than it would receive without an actual military purpose. …

The [NJNG official] wrote [to Base officials] “We met with the Pinelands Commission last week for an initial review of our pipeline proposal and they suggested that we approach you to see if we could re-route the line through your base. They believed that this new route, along with a letter from the base that the presence of the pipeline would be a positive attribute to future base activities could streamline their process”

Mr. R testified that the Joint Base, NJNG and Pinelands Commission officials involved appear to know that there is no actual military purpose or need for the pipeline and that they are knowingly falsifying various technical aspects of that military purpose or need for the express purpose of avoiding regulatory scrutiny.

Thus, it appears that NJNG, the Pinelands Commission, and Joint Base officials concocted a scheme to mislead regulators and the public regarding a false military purpose, need for, use of and route for the proposed NJNG pipeline

Remarkably, it appears that the scheme was initiated by un-named NJ Pinelands Commission officials, who appear to have suggested it to NJNG officials who then presented it to Joint Base officials.

The testimony appears to be credible and based exclusively on emails involving NJNG and Joint Base officials.

If these claims are true, then it appears that Joint Base officials have conspired with representatives of the NJ Pinelands Commission and NJ Natural Gas Company to purposely mislead and deceive Pinelands Commission regulators and the public regarding the military purpose and need for the NJNG pipeline.

If true, they warrant a broader investigation to determine the full scope and extent of military officials’ actions with respect to the proposed NJNG pipeline.

If true, such conduct constitutes fraud and abuse and official misconduct.

If true, such behavior undermines public and Congressional trust and support for the mission and the integrity of the leadership of Joint Base.

I urge your immediate attention to this serious matter and look forward to your prompt and favorable response to this request for investigation.



NJ Congressional delegation

NJ Governor Chris Christie

NJ Pinelands Commission

NJ Attorney General

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