Photo by Jordan Finnerty via Unsplash

Take Action to Stop Road Salt Pollution

The Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act (S.8663a/ A.8767a) passed the NYS Assembly unanimously and received broad bipartisan support in the NYS Senate back in July. Now, the bill’s fate lies in the hands of Governor Cuomo, who has yet to sign it into law.

If signed, the legislation will create a 3-year pilot program, starting in October 2021, that will implement strategies to reduce road salt use, while maintaining safe roads for winter drivers. This much-needed pilot program will work towards halting the spread of salt pollution into our streams. lakes, and most importantly our drinking water. A 2019 study by the Adirondack Watershed Institute tested 500 Adirondack wells downhill from state roads, and found that 64% had sodium levels exceeding the federally recommended limit.

When a private well is contaminated by salt, it becomes a hazard for people with high blood pressure and other health conditions. The situation can create a costly crisis for local families who need to buy bottled water and replace appliances, pipes, and even drill new wells.

Each year, over 190,000 tons of road salt are applied to roadways in the Adirondacks, with New York State using about 2.5 times more salt per lane-mile than county and municipal road crews. As a result of this disparity, studies show that while the state maintains only about a quarter of the roads in the Park, salt runoff from state roads is responsible for the vast majority of water contamination.

Join us in telling Governor Cuomo to sign this vital legislation without further delay, because the people of the Adirondacks deserve safe roads and clean water now.

Take Action

Here’s what you can do:
  1. Contact Governor Cuomo to share why you think the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act (S.8663a/ A.8767a) should be signed into law. You can contact him through NY.gov’s Send a Message to the Governor form or express your support of this issue using the pre-filled email at AdirondackCouncil.org.
  2. Share your support on social media. Here’s a graphic you can use:
  3. Act locally: Ask your municipality to sign  AdkAction’s Pledge to Reduce Road Salt. This memorandum of understanding identifies issues associated with road salt applications, as well as steps that may be taken to help reduce related impacts. To date, 26 Adirondack towns and villages have signed the Pledge, and are working toward a proactive approach to reducing their road salt usage while maintaining safe driving conditions through the use of best practices. Download the Pledge here and urge your local officials to pass a resolution in favor of signing the Pledge. Signed Pledges should be filed by sending to info@AdkAction.org

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