New Jersey's U.S. senators are calling on the federal government to come to the state's aid and fill a critical need for road salt.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker wrote Tuesday to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Transportation.

At issue is a nearly century-old law that prevents a foreign vessel from transporting cargo from one U.S. port to another.

The Jones Act requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. 

Radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM first reported last Friday that that law was keeping New Jersey from getting 40,000 tons of salt shipped from Maine.

Booker and Menendez said in a joint statement that the Department of Homeland Security is considering New Jersey's request for a waiver of the law.

An abundance of snow this season has depleted salt reserves around the state.