Malloy: State will help towns impacted by road salt shortage

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) has prepared a relief package for all municipalities across the state facing road salt shortages, after having to handle 12 snow and ice storms this winter season.

On Thursday night, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy requested that the DOT develop a plan to provide immediate assistance with stop-gap supplies of salt to towns across the state.

“These consecutive, long-duration events have challenged the resources of towns throughout Connecticut, in terms of stretched budgets and inventory of salt to treat road systems,” Malloy said.

Inventory of municipalities

The state Emergency Operations Center has reached out to all the municipalities to collect information on salt shortages.

As of noon Friday, 121 municipalities had responded to the survey, with 22 requests for assistance.

“The majority, 88 out of 167 municipalities, have options to utilize the state salt contract with International Salt,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker.

“The DOT, working directly with International Salt, will defer all of its contractual deliveries of salt to the state until all of the 88 municipalities using the state contract receive their necessary quantities of salt,” Redeker said.

For those municipalities that chose not to utilize the state contract and now have salt shortages, the DOT has developed an immediate, stop-gap plan to provide critical salt supplies.

DOT will help towns get road salt

After assessing the current inventory of salt at DOT facilities and ensuring that there is sufficient salt to address the anticipated demand for salt on state highways, the DOT is offering the municipalities not using the state contract access to its remaining — though limited — salt inventories.

Beginning at noon Friday, any municipality that does not utilize the state contract can contact the DOT, which will coordinate the provision of salt to that town to meet their emergency needs.

If municipal officials have any questions about how to access salt supplies, they should contact their Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security regional coordinator.

Seeks federal disaster declaration

Also on Thursday night, Malloy officially requested an emergency disaster declaration from President Barack Obama to address the potential municipal salt shortage.

If granted, the declaration may aid in the much needed procurement of salt for the state’s municipalities and tribal nations.

Malloy said the road-salt shortage problem has been “compounded further by regional and national shortages of salt due to unprecedented demand by both public and private sector entities responding to this year’s storm season. I am hopeful that President Obama will act quickly on my request.”