Saltgate: Obama won’t waive Jones Act to get road salt to New Jersey

Saltgate: Obama won’t waive Jones Act to get road salt to New Jersey

The Obama Administration has not approved a waiver that would allow New Jersey quick access to tons of salt for ice-covered roads at a port in Maine despite the state being at dangerously low levels.

Townsquare Media reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denied the state’s request for a waiver of the Jones Act, a 1920 law requiring that all cargo and passengers moving between points in the United States be transported on American vessels.

A waiver would have allowed New Jersey to get the salt within days from a foreign transport in Searsport, Maine.

New Jersey Department of Transportation Spokesman Joe Dee told the Washington Free Beacon that a waiver from the Jones Act appears “unlikely.”

“We were pursuing a waiver, but we’ve been advised we wouldn’t get one,” Dee said. “It seems unlikely we will get it.”

DHS did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The numerous winter storms this year have left New Jersey low on salt to treat their roads. …

Municipalities in the past were able to access the state’s stockpile of salt if needed, but the shortage has made such sharing impossible.

“If a county ran out in the past, we would share salt. Unfortunately, we are not in that position,” said Dee. “That’s not an option.”

The salt silos in Jersey City were empty. Towns such as Randolph, Fort Lee, and Englewood reportedly had to leave roads untreated. Salting in South Bergen was also curtailed due to its shortage. Monmouth County also ran out of salt as another storm hit on Saturday. Additionally, Morris County was running low and advised its towns to conserve salt.

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