Category: Mansfield

NJ Attorney General Finds Probable Cause Against Mansfield School District and Laurel Brook Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Disability-Discrimination Cases

February 11, 2022

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced today that the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) has found probable cause against two employers in disability-discrimination cases. Both cases involve allegations that employers discriminated against employees on the basis of disability, as well as leave time taken in connection with their disabilities.

In one case, DCR found probable cause against the Mansfield Township School District in Burlington County for allegedly violating New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) by denying a disability accommodation for a fifth-grade science teacher who had returned to work after taking leave to undergo cancer treatment. DCR did not find probable cause, however, regarding the 57-year-old teacher’s claim of discrimination on the basis of age.

In the other case, DCR found probable cause against Laurel Brook Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, a subacute rehabilitative center and skilled nursing facility in Mount Laurel. Laurel Brook is accused of violating the LAD by firing one of its longtime cooks after she took extended leave — first to deal with depression, and subsequently to undergo lung surgery.

“We are committed to protecting the right of all New Jersey workers to an inclusive and discrimination-free workplace,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “Our Division on Civil Rights takes every discrimination complaint seriously, and will hold accountable employers who violate the law.”

“The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees with a disability,” said DCR Deputy Director Rosemary DiSavino. “These cases serve as a reminder both that leave may constitute a reasonable accommodation, even when an extension of leave is needed because of multiple disabilities, and that an employee with a disability may require a workplace accommodation once they return to work.”

A Finding of Probable Cause does not represent final adjudication of a case. Rather, it means DCR has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable suspicion the LAD has been violated.  

Mansfield School District

In this case, DCR found probable cause to support allegations by the complainant, a longtime elementary school science teacher, that the Mansfield School District denied her a reasonable accommodation for her disability and discriminated against her “based on disability and/or in retaliation for taking medical leave for her cancer treatment.”

In November 2019 the teacher, who had taught only science to fifth-grade students for most of the past decade, took a medical leave of absence to undergo treatment for Stage 3 ovarian cancer.

Upon her return to work in 2020, the teacher was informed she was being reassigned for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year to teach fourth-grade, where she would be required to teach four subjects (math, language arts, social studies and science) instead of one.

The Law Against Discrimination requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability, so long as doing so would not impose an undue burden on the employer’s operations. It also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for requesting or utilizing a reasonable accommodation, including a leave of absence.

Upon learning of her reassignment, the teacher asked to remain in her role as a fifth-grade science teacher, explaining that her reassignment would be incompatible with her disability, and potentially harmful to her recovery from cancer.

Specifically, the teacher cited the stress of learning to teach three new subjects at a new grade level, and noted that her new fourth-grade classroom assignment would place her farther away from a faculty restroom. She explained that the restroom access issue was of concern due to unresolved complications from her surgery.

To support her request, the teacher submitted notes from three different medical providers, including her oncologist’s office, family physician’s office and surgeon’s office. All three medical notes advised that the stress of her reassignment had the potential to impact her recovery from cancer. The surgeon’s office note also advised that her condition required “close proximity to a restroom.”

Despite the woman’s condition and supporting medical provider notes, Mansfield schools declined to reconsider the teacher’s reassignment for the 2020-21 school year. The teacher filed her complaint with DCR on October 6, 2020, alleging in part that Mansfield Schools removed her from her fifth-grade teaching position and reassigned her to the fourth grade because of her disability and/or because she was returning from using a medical leave, and put, a less-qualified teacher without a disability, in the fifth grade in her place.

During DCR’s investigation, Mansfield School District officials noted that they provided additional classroom support to the reassigned teacher in the form of mentors and co-teachers. They also denied that the teacher’s reassignment was an adverse employment action, calling it a lateral transfer that did not result in a material change to the complainant’s salary, benefits or status.

The school district also claimed that the complainant was best qualified to fill a fourth-grade teaching vacancy created by the move of another teacher to an administrative position.

Notwithstanding the school district’s claims, the Partial Finding of Probable Cause announced today found that administrators had multiple alternatives to reassigning the cancer-stricken teacher from her long-held fifth-grade science teaching spot to a new grade level.

The Partial Finding of Probable Cause also notes that transitioning to an unfamiliar assignment after having undergone surgery and months of chemotherapy for an advanced form of cancer had in fact caused the reassigned teacher “a great deal of stress and negatively impacted her health.”

In addition, the finding document observes that the complainant’s new classroom assignment “still required her to walk several hundred feet to the closest restroom – a significant distance for one with urinary issues or bladder weakness.”

Based on DCR’s preliminary investigation, the Partial Finding of Probable Cause states, it appears the Mansfield School District “failed to adequately accommodate Complainant’s medically-supported needs for a low-stress return to teaching due to the fragile state of her recovery, and for a classroom in close proximity to a restroom due to the after effects of her treatment.”



Laurel Brook

In this case DCR found probable cause to support the complainant’s allegations that Laurel Brook unlawfully fired a longtime employee after the worker took nearly six months off to deal first with depression and then with surgery to remove a growth from her lung.

In her DCR complaint, the worker alleged that her firing after nearly eight years as a cook at Laurel Brook amounted to refusal by the facility to provide a reasonable accommodation for her disabilities.

According to the complainant, Laurel Brook verbally approved her request to take medical leave for a period of months to address “major depression,” and subsequently approved an extension of her leave to accommodate having a hamartoma removed from her lung. (Laurel Brook denies ever having provided leave approval.)

Upon contacting Laurel Brook about returning to work months later, the worker told DCR, she was advised there was no longer a job for her because she had failed to submit the paperwork required to document her need for medical leave.

Specifically, the woman was told her leave had not been approved and that she was therefore considered “resigned” after declining to submit forms required under the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

In its investigation, DCR determined the fired worker did, in fact, fail to fill out FMLA paperwork. The apparent reason was that the woman was confused by having already filled out separate paperwork required to claim temporary state disability benefits through Standard Benefit Administrators – a private, contracted insurance carrier that processes disability claims for client companies.

In issuing a Finding of Probable Cause, however, DCR noted that the worker’s failure to recognize a distinction between the disability paperwork she’d already completed and her need to fill out separate FMLA paperwork was “ultimately immaterial” and did not relieve Laurel Brook of its obligations under the New Jersey LAD.

DCR’s investigation included a review of multiple documents – including reports written by mental health providers and letters written by the worker’s thoracic surgeon – that were either submitted to Laurel Brook, or sent to Standard Benefit Administrators and copied to Laurel Brook officials.

These documents provided Laurel Brook “a stream of information” about the woman’s disabilities that evidenced her medical need to take leave, the Finding of Probable Cause notes, and triggered Laurel Brook’s obligation under the LAD to “enter into an interactive process to determine whether and how the employee may be reasonably accommodated.”



To view a Fact Sheet on disability discrimination and the rights of people with disabilities in employment, housing, education, etc., under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination go to: https://www.nj.gov/lps/dcr/downloads/fact-Disability-Discrimination.pdf

People with disabilities who believe their rights under the LAD have been violated can file a complaint with DCR by visiting https://bias.njcivilrights.gov/ or calling 1-833-NJDCR4U (833-653-2748).


Update: Road Rage Handgun Incident in Bridgewater Leads to Muli-Jurisdiction Pursuit on Interstates 78, 287, CR 622, Rt. 18 and NJ Turnpike Ending in Mansfield, Burlington County

November 13, 2021

State Police Arrest Man Who Brandished Handgun at Motorist After Road Rage Incident

Suspect Led Troopers on Multi-County Motor Vehicle Pursuit

Bridgewater Twp., N.J. – The New Jersey State Police have arrested Russell T. Brown, 62, of Shallotte, N.C., after he allegedly pointed a handgun at another motorist and led troopers on a motor vehicle pursuit that spanned multiple counties.

On Friday, November 12, at approximately 4:18 p.m., Operational Dispatch Unit North advised troopers that they were on the phone with a caller who stated a man driving a white Chrysler Town and Country exited his vehicle and pointed a handgun at him after a road rage incident. The victim stated that the incident occurred on Interstate 287 southbound at milepost 35 in Morris Township, Morris County. Troopers responded to the area and observed the Chrysler traveling southbound on I-287 at milepost 23 and continued to follow the minivan onto Interstate 78 eastbound.

In the area of milepost 32.2, in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, troopers attempted to conduct a high-risk motor vehicle stop on the Chrysler. With emergency lights activated, troopers stopped the Chrysler and provided verbal commands to the driver to exit the vehicle via the State Police vehicle public address (PA) system. The driver exited his vehicle, but after several minutes of refusing the trooper’s commands, he got back into the minivan and fled the scene.

Troopers continued to pursue the Chrysler with emergency lights and sirens activated as it traveled through multiple jurisdictions on various roadways including I-78, I-287, County Route 622, State Highway 18, and ultimately the New Jersey Turnpike. During the pursuit, the suspect intentionally struck a State Police marked vehicle on State Highway 18.

At approximately 5:52 p.m., troopers successfully stopped the Chrysler on the New Jersey Turnpike southbound at milepost 52 in Mansfield Township, Burlington County. Once stopped, troopers ordered the driver out of the vehicle, but he refused to exit. Troopers then physically removed the driver from the vehicle and arrested him. A female passenger in the vehicle was arrested without incident. During the investigation, troopers discovered a 9mm handgun in the Chrysler. The driver and passenger were relayed to State Police Somerville Station for processing. Troopers later determined that the female passenger was an unwilling participant during the pursuit and was not charged.

Russell T. Brown was charged with possession of a firearm without a permit, possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose, aggravated assault (pointing a firearm), aggravated assault against a trooper, resisting arrest, eluding arrest, and obstruction of justice. He was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

This case is being prosecuted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.


BRIDGEWATER, NJ (SOMERSET)–According to SFC Lawrence Peele at the New Jersey State Police, Public Information Unit, at approximately 4:19 p.m., troopers responded to Interstate 78 in Bridgewater for the report of a driver pointing a handgun at another motorist.  The driver of a Dodge Ram Pickup advised that the driver of a Chrysler Town and Country pointed a gun at him during an alleged road rage incident.  

In the area of milepost 32.2, troopers observed the Chrysler and attempted to stop the vehicle.  The driver refused to stop and continued traveling eastbound on I-78.  Troopers continued to pursue the vehicle with emergency lights and sirens activated as it traveled through multiple jurisdictions on various roadways including I-78, I-287, County Route 622, State Highway 18, and ultimately the New Jersey Turnpike.  

At approximately 5:52 p.m., troopers stopped the Chrysler on the New Jersey Turnpike southbound prior to Interchange 6 in Burlington County.  The male driver and female passenger were both placed under arrest and are currently facing multiple charges.  There were no injuries reported and both suspects were relayed to State Police Somerville Station for processing.


Yesterday’s MidJersey.News story:



NJ Turnpike Pursuit Ends in Mansfield, Burlington County

Update:

November 12, 2021

MANSFIELD, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Around 5:30 p.m. New Jersey State Police was in pursuit of a vehicle South Bound on the New Jersey Turnpike. There were unconfirmed reports that the pursuit started due to brandishing a firearm at an off-duty police officer. NJ State Police reportedly deployed stop sticks at certain locations on the turnpike but were unsuccessful. Eventually a NJ State Police Major that the vehicle could be stopped using a “Box In” maneuver. The maneuver worked and the vehicle was stopped in Mansfield Township around the 51-mile marker south of Exit 7 but just before the change for the PA Turnpike Extension. Once the vehicle was stopped the two occupants were taken into custody.

This is a breaking news report from witnesses, sources, and radio traffic. Once official information becomes available from the NJ State Police the story will be updated and any corrections made. (See link above for update)


Update: Colonial Pipeline Back Online

May 13, 2021 –Updated again at 4:40 p.m.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–As we reported Saturday on the Colonial Pipeline that runs though New Jersey and supplies gasoline, diesel fuel and aircraft fuel to the eastern part of the country has announced that the entire pipeline should be operational by noon today. There is no need to hoard gasoline or other fuel and disrupt the local supply chain as seen and reported in other parts of the country.

Locally the pipeline runs though Burlington, Mercer County, Middlesex County on its way to Linden, New Jersey and was shut down to a ransomware cyber attack.

System Restart and Operational Update #2
Update: Thursday, May 13, 4:40 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline has continued to make substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system. We can now report that we have restarted our entire pipeline system and that product delivery has commenced to all markets we serve.

Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during this start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.

This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members across the pipeline who worked safely and tirelessly through the night to get our lines up and running. We are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times.

See update below from the Colonial Pipeline:

Update: Thursday, May 13, 9 a.m.

Colonial Pipeline has made substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system and can report that product delivery has commenced in a majority of the markets we service. By mid-day today, we project that each market we service will be receiving product from our system. The green segments on this map are operational, meaning product delivery has commenced. Blue lines will be operational later today.

This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members across the pipeline who worked safely and tirelessly safely through the night to get our lines up and running. We are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times.


Colonial Pipeline Company, founded in 1962, connects refineries – primarily located in the Gulf Coast – with customers and markets throughout the Southern and Eastern United States through a pipeline system that spans more than 5,500 miles. The company delivers refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil, and fuel for the U.S. Military. Colonial is committed to safety and environmental stewardship across its operations.

Colonial Pipeline is the largest refined products pipeline in the United States, transporting more than 100 million gallons or 2.5 million barrels per day. Colonial transports approximately 45 percent of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, providing refined products to more than 50 million Americans. 

Specifically, Colonial transports various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, jet fuel, and fuels for the U.S. military through a pipeline system. The system is connected refineries in the Gulf Coast and in the Northeast. The majority of the system is underground, with tankage and other facilities at key receipt, storage and delivery points.


Related MidJersey.news coverage on Colonial Pipeline incident here:

Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today; Several days to return to normal

Colonial Pipeline Works To Restore Service, US FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration In 18 States To Control Shortages

Update: Colonial Pipeline System Disruption

Cyber Attack Shuts Down Colonial Pipeline



Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today; Several days to return to normal

May 12, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MECER)–As reports were coming in of gas stations running out of gas in the south east United States from the hoarding of gasoline and other fuel products the Colonial Pipeline announced the restart of of the pipeline after a ransomware cyber attack. The company states that it may take several days for the delivery supply chain to return to normal. See press releases from Colonial Pipeline below for the latest updates.

Wednesday, May 12, 5:10 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today at approximately 5 p.m. ET. 

Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.

As we initiate our return to service, our primary focus remains safety. As part of this startup process, Colonial will conduct a comprehensive series of pipeline safety assessments in compliance with all Federal pipeline safety requirements. 

This is the first step in the restart process and would not have been possible without the around-the-clock support of Colonial Pipeline’s dedicated employees who have worked tirelessly to help us achieve this milestone. We would also like to thank the White House for their leadership and collaboration, as well as the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, FBI, PHMSA, FERC and other federal, state and local agencies for their ongoing support.

We will continue to provide updates as restart efforts progress.

###

Tuesday, May 11, 5:15 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline continues to make forward progress in our around-the-clock efforts to return our system to service, with additional laterals operating manually to deliver existing inventories to markets along the pipeline. Markets experiencing supply constraints and/​or not serviced by other fuel delivery systems are being prioritized. We are collaborating with the Department of Energy (DOE) to evaluate market conditions to support this prioritization. 

Since our pipeline system was taken offline, working with our shippers, Colonial has delivered approximately 967,000 barrels (~41 million gallons) to various delivery points along our system. This includes delivery into the following markets: Atlanta, Ga., Belton and Spartanburg, S.C., Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C., Baltimore, Md., and Woodbury and Linden N.J.

Additionally, in preparation for our system restart, we have taken delivery of an additional 2 million barrels (~84 million gallons) from refineries for deployment upon restart. 

Consistent with our safety policies and regulatory requirements, Colonial has increased aerial patrols of our pipeline right of way and deployed more than 50 personnel to walk and drive ~ 5,000 miles of pipeline each day. 

Actions taken by the Federal Government to issue a temporary hours of service exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting refined products across Colonial’s footprint and actions taken by several Governors to lift weight restrictions on tanker trucks should help alleviate local supply disruptions. This is in addition to the Reid Vapor Pressure wavier issued today by the U.S. EPA that will also help alleviate supply constraints in several states serviced by our system. We would like to thank the White House for their leadership and collaboration in resolving this matter as well as the DOE, PHMSA, FERC and other federal agencies for their ongoing support. 

Our primary focus remains the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We will continue to provide updates as restoration efforts progress.


Related MidJersey.news coverage on Colonial Pipeline incident here:

Colonial Pipeline Works To Restore Service, US FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration In 18 States To Control Shortages

Update: Colonial Pipeline System Disruption

Cyber Attack Shuts Down Colonial Pipeline


Colonial Pipeline Works To Restore Service, US FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration In 18 States To Control Shortages


Move slider to 3:41 for President Joe Biden’s remarks on the Colonial Pipeline.


May 10, 2021

Update — Monday, May 10, 12:25 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline continues to dedicate vast resources to restoring pipeline operations quickly and safely. Segments of our pipeline are being brought back online in a stepwise fashion, in compliance with relevant federal regulations and in close consultation with the Department of Energy, which is leading and coordinating the Federal Government’s response.

Restoring our network to normal operations is a process that requires the diligent remediation of our systems, and this takes time. In response to the cybersecurity attack on our system, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. To restore service, we must work to ensure that each of these systems can be brought back online safely.

While this situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, the Colonial operations team is executing a plan that involves an incremental process that will facilitate a return to service in a phased approach. This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week. The Company will provide updates as restoration efforts progress.

We continue to evaluate product inventory in storage tanks at our facilities and others along our system and are working with our shippers to move this product to terminals for local delivery. Actions taken by the Federal Government to issue a temporary hours of service exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting refined products across Colonial’s footprint should help alleviate local supply disruptions and we thank our government partners for their assistance in resolving this matter.

Our primary focus continues to be the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We appreciate the patience of the traveling public and the support we have received from the Federal Government and our peers throughout the industry.


The FBI confirms that the Darkside ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks. We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation. 



REGIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION
UNDER 49 CFR § 390.23 

No. 2021-002

ALABAMA, ARKANSAS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MARYLAND, MISSISSIPPI, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, AND VIRGINIA

In accordance with the provisions of 49 CFR § 390.23, the Regional Field Administrators for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Eastern, Southern, and Western Service Centers hereby declares that an emergency exists that warrants issuance of a Regional Emergency Declaration and an exemption from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety (FMCSRs), except as otherwise restricted in this Emergency Declaration.  Such emergency is in response to the unanticipated shutdown of the Colonial pipeline system due to network issues that affect the supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products throughout the Affected States.  This Declaration addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products and provides necessary relief.  Affected States and jurisdictions included in this Emergency Declaration (“Affected States”) are:  Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

By execution of this Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in the Affected States in direct support of relief efforts related to the shortages of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products due to the shutdown, partial shutdown, and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system are granted relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations except as restricted herein.   

This Emergency Declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products into the Affected States during the emergency from shortages due to the shutdown, partial shutdown, and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system.  Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the shortages of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products due to the shutdown, partial shutdown, and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system in the Affected States, or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.  (49 CFR § 390.23(b)).  Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the shortages of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products due to the shutdown, partial shutdown and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system in the Affected States, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399.  When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operation, equals 14 hours.  

All other applicable safety requirements remain in place and will be enforced by the FMCSA.  Specifically, nothing contained in this Emergency Declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements (49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver’s license requirements (49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements (49 CFR Part 387), the hazardous material regulations (49 CFR Parts 100-180), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically authorized pursuant to 49 CFR § 390.23. 

Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA. 

In accordance with 49 CFR § 390.23, this declaration is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until the end of the emergency (as defined in 49 CFR § 390.5) or until 11:59 P.M. (ET), June 8, 2021, whichever is earlier.  FMCSA intends to continually review the status of this Emergency Declaration and may take action to modify or terminate the Emergency Declaration sooner if conditions warrant.


Taft Kelly, Regional Field Administrator
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Eastern Service Center


Darrell L. Ruban, Regional Field Administrator
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Southern Service Center


Scott G. Hernandez, Regional Field Administrator
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Western Service Center


Related MidJersey.news coverage on Colonial Pipeline incident here:

Colonial Pipeline Works To Restore Service, US FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration In 18 States To Control Shortages

Update: Colonial Pipeline System Disruption

Cyber Attack Shuts Down Colonial Pipeline


Update: Colonial Pipeline System Disruption

Update — Sunday, May 9, 2021

On May 7, 2021 Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack and has since determined that the incident involved ransomware. Quickly after learning of the attack, Colonial proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat. These actions temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems, which we are actively in the process of restoring.

Leading, third-party cybersecurity experts were also immediately engaged after discovering the issue and launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident. We have remained in contact with law enforcement and other federal agencies, including the Department of Energy who is leading the Federal Government response. 

Maintaining the operational security of our pipeline, in addition to safely bringing our systems back online, remain our highest priorities. Over the past 48 hours, Colonial Pipeline personnel have taken additional precautionary measures to help further monitor and protect the safety and security of its pipeline.

The Colonial Pipeline operations team is developing a system restart plan. While our mainlines (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4) remain offline, some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational. We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.

At this time, our primary focus continues to be the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We appreciate the patience and outpouring of support we have received from others throughout the industry. 


Related MidJersey.news coverage on Colonial Pipeline incident here:

Colonial Pipeline Works To Restore Service, US FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration In 18 States To Control Shortages

Update: Colonial Pipeline System Disruption

Cyber Attack Shuts Down Colonial Pipeline


Chesterfield Woman Charged With Stealing $60k+ From Youth Football And Cheerleading Program

December 10, 2020

MANSFIELD, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Mansfield Township Police Department Chief Ronald G. Mulhall Jr. announced that a Chesterfield woman was charged with stealing more than $60,000 from a youth football and cheerleading program while serving as the organization’s treasurer over a five-year period that ended last year.

Stacy Cassidy, 45, of Monmouth Road, was charged with Elements of Computer Theft (Second Degree), Misapplication of Entrusted Property (Third Degree), Theft by Deception (Third Degree), and Forgery by Uttering (Fourth Degree). She was lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility pending a hearing tomorrow in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

The investigation began earlier this year after members of the Northern Burlington Junior Greyhound Athletic Association contacted law enforcement officials with suspicions that Cassidy had been embezzling funds from the organization and using them for personal expenses while serving as treasurer between January 2015 and December 2019.

The investigation revealed that during that period, Cassidy made 542 unauthorized transactions totaling $60,654.28. She used the money to help pay for her mortgage, cell phone bill, groceries, gas, and home heating oil, among other items. Included in that activity were 84 unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals totaling more than $21,000 that coincided with family vacations on cruises and to Disney World.

The investigation further revealed that, in an attempt to conceal the scheme, Cassidy restricted access to account statements, fabricated reports misrepresenting the organization’s financial position, and forged documents to falsely indicate that insurance premiums had been paid and coverage was being maintained.

A search warrant was executed this morning at Cassidy’s residence. She was taken into custody with the assistance of the Chesterfield Township Police Department and the

New Jersey State Police

T.E.A.M.S. Unit.

Cassidy will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit. The case was investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Mansfield Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Nicholas Schieber and Mansfield Township Police Detective Ken Allen.

All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Car Fire On NJ Turnpike

November 22, 2020

MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Several 9-1-1 calls reporting a car fire on the New Jersey Turnpike north of Exit 7 in the north bound lanes in Bordentown Township ended up to be the wrong location.

Bordentown Township and Robbinsville firefighters were dispatched at 2:03 pm to an area between Exit 7 and Exit 7A for a car fire. Upon arrival at the originally reported location they could see a column of smoke south of Exit 7, firefighters continued to the call and found the vehicle fire just north of the interchange turn for the PA Turnpike Extension on the north bound side of the highway at mile marker 51.8 outer lanes. Firefighters once on location quickly extinguished the flames. No other information was available about the call.