“A coalition of environmental groups (including Food & Water Watch, NYPIRG, and more) is mounting a campaign for a statewide ban on the spreading of brine from oil and gas wells on roads for deicing or dust control”. These products are waste products from fracking and, thanks to a new law, can legally be used for these purposes, despite their poisonous properties. These chemicals are then filtered into the water cycle and circulated throughout the ecosystem, causing a domino effect of environmental and health consequences – the reasons fracking was banned in New York State in the first place. New York has historically used road salt to deice, which can have consequences too (dangerous levels of sodium and chloride in water bodies). But hopefully there are solutions ahead. According to Peter Mantius, “Governor Cuomo recently signed into law a bill that establishes a task force to find ways to reduce the salting of roads”, called the The Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act. It establishes a 15-member task force, a three-year pilot plan and test study in the Adirondacks. The results of the study will lead to recommendations for winter maintenance on state roads no later than 2024, says state Assemblyman Billy Jones.
Read Peter Mantius’ full article on Water Front, and stay tuned for updates on this issue.