Members meeting to finalize plan to outline park’s salt problem, propose fixes
By Zachary Matson
A government task force charged with recommending ways to reduce road salt use in the Adirondack Park appears to be nearing completion of a long-awaited report outlining the pervasive problem and the panel’s proposed solutions.
Members of the panel met virtually last week to go over final revisions and tweaks to the report, now years in the making. State agencies chairing the task force in December indicated the report was expected to be released early this year.
Some members have said they expected a faster timeline for releasing the report, indicating an original goal of releasing it before snow season or the state budget was proposed. A final budget is due April 1.
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Department of Transportation spokesperson Joe Morrissey on Thursday said while no more public meetings were scheduled the task force continued to finalize the document expected to be released soon.
“Task force members continue to work individually and collaboratively to finalize language that incorporates additional research and consensus made on a variety of issues,” Morrissey said in a statement.
The task force will likely release a summary report and a technical appendix that goes into more detail, according to members. The report will build on a series of road salt reduction pilot programs already in place around the park and propose new programs to test strategies for reducing road salt use at the state, local and private level. Recommendations could also include different funding options and legislative proposals, as well as targets for chloride concentrations in Adirondack waterways. The report will outline best winter road management practices and suggested messaging to the traveling public.
The 14-member panel first met publicly in February 2022 and continued behind closed doors to work in committees throughout the spring and summer, focusing on current effects of road salt use, best practices, public outreach and how to monitor future use.
Task force members shared details of emerging draft recommendations at public events in August and October, indicating the appointed task force members were close to completing their work.
Legislation creating the task force originally envisioned the report being finalized by December 2021, but task force members had not even been appointed by that time.
Catch up on ongoing coverage of the impacts of road salt on our region’s water sources and supplies
Can anyone point me toward the best source for research into this problem worldwide? I wonder what would be the best method to minimize salt usage and keep people out of the ditch. Most stuff I see is based on local studies with the same result. Are we re-re-re-inventing the wheel?
I suspect the bulk of the problem is cultural and not technological. Perhaps people need to be more aware of the risks and remedies of driving on snow/ice.
Randy Truesdell says
people do need to be more aware of driving in so and ice . number one slow down and don’t think you can hit your brakes and stop. You need to look into the salt usage at least in nys dot way too much salt is used period.I no for a fact on that I lived it .
If they don’t put enough salt down the roads will be more likely to be covered in ice and accidents/deaths will increase. This is one of the “costs” they are debating with… actual human life. Salt is what people use because it works the best. They care more about the environment then human beings life’s. It’s pathetic
M Leybra says
Jay says, “They care more about the environment then human beings life’s. It’s pathetic.” Guess what Jay, without an environment w/ salt-free fresh water to drink, there is no life, for man or beast. Note, Mar. 23, 2023, USA Today front page headline: “26% Of World Population Has No Access to Unpolluted Fresh Water.”