State makes its road salt available to towns

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today that the state has devised a plan to address municipalities' salt shortages.

"Last night we requested an emergency disaster declaration from President Obama to address a potential municipal salt shortage. I want to stress municipal," Malloy said. "If granted the declaration could aid in the much needed procurement of salt for the state's municipalities and tribal nations."

There will be a 30,000-ton salt delivery today at New Haven harbor, Malloy said, and a second delivery of 45,000 tons on Feb. 22 instead of Feb. 28.

DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said 30,000 tons covers about two to three storms. What the state has now plus the new 30,000 should give the state the ability to respond to four sizable storms on average, Malloy said.

"But we are not doing that because we aren't going to hang onto the salt," Malloy said. … "We have plenty of salt, municipalities don't, we are taking steps to make sure municipalities have salt."

Redeker has developed a plan to provide salt first to the 88 towns throughout the state that piggyback on the state's salt contract.

"The DOT has postponed our deliveries (for state roads) because we have sufficient supplies for several storms," Redeker said.

The salt began being distributed at noon, he added.

Towns that independently arrange to buy salt will now have the opportunity to use surplus from the supply of the state DOT. Redeker said those towns should contact their regional coordinator of the division of emergency management and homeland security.

So far the state has heard from 122 towns, of which 22 have said they are in need of assistance, Malloy said.

Malloy said the state is preparing for another storm tomorrow and possibly a second storm on Sunday night or Monday.
On Thursday Malloy said the state had enough salt for one additional storm but since then has further surveyed its supplies and the cleanup today has required less salt than anticipated.

Malloy said the state has also requested a federal waiver on truck weight restrictions. If given, this would help the state speed up the delivery of salt and allow heavier trucks to travel through Connecticut to deliver salt to other states, he said.

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