Nozzolio Legislation To Reduce Truck Traffic In Finger Lakes Region Adopted By State Senate

Michael F. Nozzolio

October 22, 2007

Albany— New York State Senator Michael Nozzolio today announced that legislation he is sponsoring that would require the State Department of Transportation to designate certain highway routes for the transportation of hazardous materials has been adopted in the State Senate. If approved, the measure would significantly reduce commercial truck traffic on upstate scenic byways and local roads.

“Truck traffic is overwhelming our local towns and villages in the Finger Lakes region,” said Senator Nozzolio. “This legislation will require the State Department of Transportation to begin supervising and coordinating the routes that commercial trucks carrying hazardous materials are taking when driving through upstate New York. Our local roads were not constructed to withstand the current amount of truck traffic and this legislation will keep more of these trucks on the Thruway, where they belong.”

Senate bill 6461 would establish the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) as the State agency responsible for routing all commercial trucks carrying hazardous materials, including municipal solid waste, in New York State. The legislation would establish rules, procedures, and standards to be used by DOT when designating truck routes.

At present, there are no restrictions outside of New York City for the transportation of hazardous materials on New York State’s highways. Certain water sources for urban and rural areas and other environmentally sensitive areas are bordered by highways and are at risk should there be an accident resulting in a spill of transported hazardous materials.

The legislation would designate the DOT as the agency to regulate and permit the routing of hazardous materials and would require DOT to oversee the transportation of those materials. Additionally, Senate bill 6461 would require the DOT to consult with the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation when establishing truck route designations.

In June, Senator Nozzolio met with citizens of the Finger Lakes region concerned with the increasing amount of truck traffic on the scenic byways in the Finger Lakes region. At the meeting, Senator Nozzolio discussed how truckers are bypassing the Thruway to avoid paying tolls and called upon the State Thruway Authority to expand current programs that reduce tolls for commercial truckers.

“This measure would significantly reduce truck traffic on the local roads upstate. It is my hope that the State Assembly and the Spitzer administration will join our efforts by adopting this important measure.”