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State Agency, JCP&L in Talks Over Electrical Codes

Township must enforce state building requirements, council members say

Toms River officials say they are urging Jersey Central Power & Light to change its policy over what they say is the utility's refusal to comply with state codes on electrical equipment placement in homes in flood zones.

The township's governing body this week passed a resolution urging the utility to immediately abide by New Jersey Department of Community Affairs regulations regarding residential meter connections.

The DCA requires meter housings to be placed at a minimum of at least one foot above base flood elevations, however representatives of JCP&L have been directing customers to locate meter housings at a maximum of five feet above grade, which is in direct conflict with the DCA’s regulation, officials said.

"JCP&L has recently informed its customers, our residents, that their homes will not be connected to electricity if the meter is more than five feet above grade," said Councilman George Wittmann. "This is completely contrary to New Jersey state building code, which the Township must enforce. It has also resulted in numerous phone calls and confusion from the public about how to proceed."

Toms River council members said the state is still in talks with the utility on how to proceed.

"This is a simple solution," said Councilman Jeffrey Carr. "Our residents deserve that this be addressed by JCP&L so they can rebuild, have electricity and get back into their homes as quickly as possible."

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