In a pickle: New Jersey breaks out the brine for snowy roads as it awaits fed OK for salt delivery

February 19, 2014

New Jersey is in a pickle as a rule of the high seas shuts off the flow of salt to keep roads clear.

State officials are now being forced to turn to a briny pickle juice-like mixture as an alternative to de-ice the roads, while racing to get a federal waiver that is currently holding up a 40,000-ton shipment of rock salt.

The salt is sitting at a port in Maine, docked until New Jersey officials obtain a federal waiver. Once that is done, it will take two days to ship the load from Maine to Newark.

The shipment is being denied entry because it’s on a vessel that isn’t flying under a U.S. flag – a violation of the 1920 federal Maritime Act — also known as The Jones Act — that requires shipments to arrive on a ship with goods traveling between two U.S. ports to be flying the American flag.

New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson said during a radio interview that the nearest U.S.-flagged vessel would take a month to deliver the shipment of salt.

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