December 3, 2020 by Editorial Staff
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act – a bipartisan bill that is expected to help reduce road salt pollution and protect drinking water in the Adirondack Park.
The legislation creates an Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force and Pilot Program. The new law establishes a salt-reduction pilot program from October 2021 through 2024 to test alternative measures already shown to work better and cost less than current winter road maintenance practices. Proponents of the new law say that highway safety remains the top priority.
The Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States and is the largest intact, temperate deciduous forest in the world. It also includes 130 small, rural communities alongside protected wild lands areas.
The Adirondack Park contains more than 11,000 lakes and ponds, and more than 30,000 miles of rivers, brook and streams and is the source of most of the state’s rivers. The park’s hard bedrock, thin soils and steep slopes make it the place where road salt damage – like acid rain damage – is likely to appear first. Advocates of the law say lessons learned in the Adirondacks can be applied statewide in the years ahead.