NJ salt shortage continues - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

NJ salt shortage continues

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NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

New Jersey's U.S. senators are pressing the federal government to intervene in the Garden State's failed efforts to receive road salt.

A barge with 40 tons of salt set sail for the tristate region where New Jersey is experiencing a salt shortage following multiple winter storms that dumped several feet of snow.

Angel Morales, a resident of Jersey City says her car just won’t go anywhere.

“Look, you see I went up and I started sliding back,” she said.

N.J. officials were hoping the barge with 40 tons of salt would arrive from Maine.  But the vessel wasn't flying the American flag and officials couldn't get clearance from Homeland Security to come to the Port of Newark.

The problem is because of the 1920 federal Maritime Act. It prevents foreign vessels from moving cargo from one U.S. port to another. It was designed to protect the U.S. shipping industry from foreign competition.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker wrote Tuesday to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Transportation.

Booker and Menendez said in a joint statement that the Department of Homeland Security is considering New Jersey's request for a waiver of the law.

The barge sailed empty, leaving the salt in Maine.

Now municipalities are counting on smaller shipments from suppliers.  Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop says he's been waiting for salt for two weeks

"We got 200 tons today we are expecting another 300 tons today” said the mayor. “To put it in perspective we use about 800 tons this will get us through one more snow storm. One more storm we will be back in this place so we really need some larger relief. "

Jersey City has been using the more expensive liquid brine and sand to combat the snow on city streets. Residents say snow mounds and places to dump the snow are also a problem.

Officials say they are working with Homeland Security to get larger shipments of salt for the area.

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