Road salt continues to be a major pollutant into our streams, lakes, and, most importantly, our drinking water throughout the region. For the past 10 years, our Road Salt project has aimed to reduce the application of road salt in the Adirondacks. In the past year we have been successful in advocating for the passage and signing of the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act and we secured funding to deepen our work to support municipalities in the Park who are focused on sustainable winter maintenance practices.
Since last year we have achieved these major accomplishments
- Major legislation: The Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act was signed into law by Governor Cuomo in December. A Task Force, formed by the Act and expected to be announced soon, will submit recommendations by year’s end to strategically reduce road salt use in the Park. A three-year Adirondack Park-wide pilot program is then set to begin implementing data-driven salt reduction tactics while maintaining safe roads for winter drivers. A final analytical report will be submitted in 2024.
- Major grant support: AdkAction received a $50,000 Lake Champlain Basin Program grant (LCBP) for its Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership. The grant supports the implementation of a comprehensive, personalized outreach and education program to NYS/Champlain Basin communities and highway departments to reduce the use of road salt and implement proven winter road maintenance best practices.
This summer, Colgate University intern Emily Schwartz developed a draft public outreach campaign for the LCBP grant and the Road Salt collaboration with New York State. This year’s successes on the Road Salt Project are the result of several years of effort by AdkAction and several associated organizations and many other people
In addition to the passage of the road salt legislation and receiving the LCBP grant to expand outreach and education efforts, we continue to work with municipalities throughout the Adirondacks to sign the Pledge to Reduce Road Salt.
The memorandum of understanding identifies issues associated with road salt applications and outlines steps that help to reduce the impacts related to its use. To date, 27 Adirondack towns and villages have signed the pledge, committing to use best practices to reduce road salt on locally maintained roadways. During the next year, we will continue monitoring and participating in the activities and reporting by New York State related to the road salt legislation.