Adirondack Explorer

Salt through the hourglass

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Two years ago a dozen or so Adirondack homeowners prepared to sue the state of New York for polluting their drinking water.

They had evidence that road salt dumped by the New York State Department of Transportation was flowing into their wells, making their water unsafe to drink and reducing their property values.

Their lawsuit never got off the ground. In New York, residents who want to take the state to court often have just 90 days to file a lawsuit. At least some of the afflicted homeowners had learned of their problems years earlier.

They had suffered too long.

Even for homeowners with still undrinkable water, New York’s strict time limits make it nearly impossible to challenge the state in court, the Adirondack Explorer has found. Such rigid and merciless filing deadlines undermined the residents’ case and have insulated the state in other cases where DOT has admitted it is likely polluting water supplies with road salt.

Carina Moore moved into a home along State Route 86 in Gabriels eight years ago. From the first taste of the home’s water, she knew something was wrong.

Even though her family had tested the well for bacteria before buying, they hadn’t tasted water from the tap or checked for sodium and

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