Thursday, December 3, 2020

Gov. Cuomo signs road salt bill, paving way for salt reduction

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won praise from Adirondack and statewide conservation organizations today when he signed into law the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act – a bipartisan bill that would help reduce road salt pollution and protect drinking water in the Adirondack Park.

Late Wednesday night, the governor signed a law aimed at reining in the 300 million pounds of salt dumped each year in the Adirondack Park to clear roads for fast-moving vehicles.

Local lawmakers and environmental groups have been pushing the idea since last year. The law creates a task force and directs state transportation, public health and environmental officials all to help with a three-year study that will test new ways to manage roads in the winter.

The legislation creates an Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force and Pilot Program. The new law establishes a salt-reduction pilot program from October 2021 through 2024 to test alternative measures already shown to work better and cost less than current winter road maintenance practices.  Highway safety would remain the top priority.

Read the full story here on the Adirondack Explorer website.

A state highway truck dumps road salt in Tupper Lake. Photo by Mike Lynch

 

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7 Responses

  1. Phil Fitzpatrick says:

    This is great news. The Transportation Department lobbied hard against it. We have a real victory for the Adirondacks and many groups to thank for it.

    • Aaron says:

      The DOT’s only concern is getting vehicles from A to B as quickly as possible, but there doesn’t seem to be much logic to their thinking when it comes to our area, so common sense changes need to be forced on them. What will probably be equally (if not more) difficult is compelling the DOT to adjust speed limits seasonally, a move which would have organically reduced road salt use years ago. Reducing speed limits seasonally would almost certainly save drivers money not only in damage to their cars from salt and sliding accidents, it could dramatically reduce deer strikes as well, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

      • MARK says:

        Aaron,
        You are half correct regarding the DOT concern. More importantly, they are trying to get vehicles to their destination SAFELY. Moreover, don’t blame the DOT. Government officials have created this expectation of “wet road” policy and consequently set the standards for vehicle traffic…oh and don’t forget the LIABILITY issue. In this sue happy society, no one is responsible for driving to conditions anymore.

  2. lee says:

    I do not like him but the salt is killing a lot of things other then the environment. Cars corrode , as well as bridges and concrete not to mention all the other environmental impacts of harvesting it, hauling it, spreading it, so forth

  3. David Gibson says:

    This is great news, and the result of years of effort by a coalition of groups, science based study, and determined individuals. The task force and study now have expectations for results, all across the Adirondacks. Previous to this, road salt alternative treatments have been focused on spots, the southern basin of L. George and in spots along Rt. 73 in the High Peaks region. Also, this bill involves local public works departments, county and local roads, as well as NYS DOT on state highways.

  4. charles wood says:

    If drivers would drive according to the conditions there may not be a need for very much salt. That being said I am sure there are those, probably most, who feel they either need to get there faster or are superior drivers. whether there is snow on the roads or not… leave a few minutes early, slow down and enjoy the ride.

  5. sandor says:

    So the $$ saved by making ADKs roads less safe is going??Ridiculous at best…Nothing but horse manure! The Forest thru the Trees sheeple.. RISE UP and wake up!

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