Assemblyman Jones: Road Salt Task Force Bill a Step Forward in Protecting Public Health and Reducing Pollution

July 21, 2020

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D – Chateaugay Lake) announced that a bill he introduced – the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act – to better protect the health of North Country families and safeguard Adirondack waterways and sources has passed the Assembly (A.8767).

“The North Country is no stranger to harsh, snowy winters, which is why the safety of travelers during these cold months is one of our top priorities,” said Jones. “That being said, it’s critical that we find a way to protect drivers without continuing to harm the environment and pollute our drinking water. This legislation is a crucial step in providing protection for our natural water sources while also keeping the roads safe for travel during the winter. I’d like to thank my Assembly colleagues for supporting this measure and encourage the Senate and governor to do the same.”

Jones’s bill would establish the Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force, a pilot program to help protect the environment while ensuring safe road conditions. It’s important to ensure safe travel conditions during the winter, but the pollution stemming from the excessive road salt use on public roads presents a risk to both the environment and public health. Road salt can leech into surface and groundwater, releasing heavy metals and other toxins into the environment and drinking water supply that threaten the health and safety of North Country families.

The Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force will gather and summarize available information and recommend best management practices for winter road maintenance in the Adirondacks. This includes recommendations for updated levels of service and road salt reduction targets to help the state Departments of Transportation, Health and Environmental Conservation reduce the level of water contamination while maintaining road safety.