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Road Salt: Reducing Impacts to the Environment and Human Health [Forum]

To promote safe winter driving conditions, deicers are applied to roadways throughout the Northeast. The most commonly used deicer is sodium chloride, otherwise known as road salt. This inexpensive deicer comes with hidden costs to both the environment and human health.

The Cary Institute hosted a management-based forum about the impact that road salt has on natural areas and drinking water supplies, with a focus on successful salt reduction strategies being used regionally and nationally.

Videos and Presentations

The State of Salt: What We Know about Road Salt Contamination in the NE US

Speaker: Stuart Findlay, freshwater ecologist, Cary Institute

Learn how road salt impacts freshwater ecosystems, including drinking water supplies. Presentation

Road Salt Regional Perspective: New York State Success Stories

Speaker: Rob Fitch, NYSDOT

Gain insight into NYS Department of Transportation sensible salting tactics, including success stories and best practices in snow and ice control. Presentation

Road Salt Reduction Initiatives in the Adirondacks

Speaker: Dan Kelting, Professor of Environmental Sciences, Paul Smith’s College

Discover how a consortium is working to reduce salt pollution in the Adirondack State Park. Presentation

Road Salt Best Management Practices: A National View

Speaker: Laura Fay, Research Scientist and Winter Maintenance and Effect Program Manager, University of Montana

An update on the state of knowledge on national best management practices. Presentation

Road Salt: Connecting Salt Practices with Salt in Streams

Speaker: Eli Dueker, Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College.

Connect how salt practices in the Hudson River watershed impact the salinity of local streams. Presentation

Road Salt: Next Steps

Speaker: Kathleen Weathers, Cary Institute

Wrap-up session of the science and management forum Road Salt: Reducing Impacts to the Environment and Human Health.

Kathleen Weathers discusses the impact of road salt on natural areas and drinking water supplies, and opens the floor to ideas on how to successfully reduce the use of road salt. Presentation