New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone has joined U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker in calling on federal officials to grant a waiver of the Jones Act -- which would allow a foreign vessel to pick up a huge load of rock salt at a port in Maine and deliver it to the Garden State.

salt truck
Truck pre-treats road in Wall with salt. (Craig Allen photo)

The Jones Act, established in 1920, requires products and goods being transported from one U.S. port to another to be moved by an American registered ship, in order to protect American jobs.

"The Jones Act makes a lot of sense and I support it, but there are public safety exceptions and I clearly think this falls into that category," Pallone said. "With all the snow, and the continual snow, we definitely need this rock salt."

Pallone has written a letter to the secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Transportation, asking them to grant a waiver so the salt can be moved as quickly as possible.

"We've had so much snow that if you don't have enough rock salt you're going to have a situation where you're going to have accidents, and people could get killed or seriously injured," Pallone said. "I've been on the road during these snowstorms myself, and I've seen many accidents, so I'm talking from firsthand knowledge and it is really crucial to have this shipment."

The New Jersey DOT is expecting a large rock salt shipment from Chile -- through its main supplier, International Salt -- to arrive here on Thursday, and another big shipment is due to arrive sometime next week.


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