Missing deadline, road salt panel established
It took almost the entire year, but the state’s Road Salt Reduction Task Force is finally in place – even if it missed its first deadline along the way.
Gov. Kathy Hochul in December named 10 appointments to a much-awaited task force charged with outlining a path to reduced road salt use in the Adirondack Park, aiming to minimize a decades-old pollution problem.
The task force members include a pair of Adirondack highway managers, the leaders of nonprofits focused on salt pollution, a scientist who has studied groundwater contaminated by salt and a consultant working with local highway departments committed to reducing salt use.
The panel will have the benefit of some best practices towns around Lake George have already found can reduce salt use: investing in close-edge plows, using brine mixes and closely monitoring salt application rates. The annual Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit in October showcased many of those strategies.
The road salt issue sat in limbo for much of 2021 as advocates and lawmakers awaited the task force appointments – delayed in part by an unexpected transition in the governor’s office – but 2022 promises more developments as the task force gets to work.
— Zachary Matson