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Who Caused NJ’s Road Salt Shortage? [AUDIO]

Who’s to blame for New Jersey’s road salt shortage this winter? It depends on who you ask.

truck gathering salt
Julie Denesha, Getty Images

The state Department of Transportation has pointed the finger of blame at federal officials for not granting a waiver of the Jones Act, that would have allowed a foreign ship to haul 40,000 tons of road salt from a port in Maine to Port Newark a couple of weeks ago. But the feds, along with New Jersey’s two U.S Senators, Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, insist it was poor planning on the part of the DOT that led to the salt shortage in the first place.

Speaking Wednesday night on Townsquare Media’s Ask the Governor show, Gov. Chris Christie responded.

“We have to remember, all of last winter we used 258,000 tons of salt,” Christie said. “Through Feb. 18 (of this year), we’ve used 442,000 tons of salt, so I don’t understand the poor planning thing. Were we supposed to have the crystal ball that by Feb. 18th, we’re at nearly double the amount of salt we used last year?”

The governor said no one can control the weather.

“I’m not going to get into this back-and-forth over who should have done what — we’ve got salt, we’re continuing to pursue other ways to get salt,” Christie said. “The fact is, it has snowed more this winter than in any winter in 20 years, and when that happens, you’re going to run low on salt.”

He also said this problem is not unique to New Jersey, since everybody in the region is low on salt and scrambling to try and get more.

“What everybody should be doing instead of going back and forth on this is, pray we don’t get any more snow,” Christie said. “I’m tired of it, and I’m sure you are too.”

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