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Reducing Road Salt Pollution

Road Salt threatens water quality, disrupts road side ecosystems, and degrades our infrastructure and vehicles. 


Help us advocate for a better way to keep winter roads safe in the Adirondacks.

 

Local Drinking Water Research

We have begun a multi-phase project to research and quantify the economic impacts of road salt with our partner at Adirondack Research. It is a common misconception that road salt is the cheapest option when it comes to winter road maintenance, but that is not true if corrosion is taken into account. This study will shed light on the economic impacts of road salt corrosion on our bridges, specifically looking at bridge deterioration, maintenance, and repair costs correlated with salt use.

In addition to the economics of road salt, we are very interested in how road salt impacts our aquifers and drinking water.  To better understand the impacts of road salt application on our groundwater, we are partnering with Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) and The FUND for Lake George to test 400 private wells in the Adirondacks. As members of AdkAction.org, your support has enabled us to carry out this important water quality research. As a result, your homes will be among the first wells to be considered for participation in the well study. In order to be eligible to volunteer for this study, you simply need to be a member of AdkAction.org, live within the blue line, and use a private well for your water source. If selected, your well water will be tested at no cost to you. Click here for more information.

The research that we help design and fund is only useful if it is being effectively communicated to decision makers. We have had great success in communicating our concerns about road salt in recent months. In December, we presented the latest road salt research to Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and his team, in Albany.  We were also invited to the Essex County Board of Supervisors Inter-County Meeting on January 26th and the Franklin County Legislators Meeting on February 2nd where we informed local government officials of the dangers of road salt.


VIDEOS FROM OUR 2014 ROAD SALT CONFERENCE

Colorado DOT uses very little road salt:

Stuart Findlay, Cary Institute discusses thresholds for chloride concentrations:

176 Tons 

the amount of road salt spread on paved roads in the Adirondack Park each year

30% 

reduction in the amount of 

per-lane salt use 


Three

number of conferences we've sponsored on the road salt topic

       Our current efforts are focused on economic motivations for reducing road salt use. We recently funded a study showing that the data indeed exists to demonstrate costs associated with road salt damage to personal vehicles, DOT Vehicles, and bridges/NYS infrastructure. We are working with Adirondack Research to produce a study on the "Hidden Costs of Road Salt"; The full study will need to be grant funded, but in order to justify a grant, we need to sponsor a smaller preliminary research effort ‚Äčas an example of the type and quality of work we intend to produce. 

     

We have sponsored three road salt seminars in partnership with Paul Smith's College. The “Road Salt Management Conference” focused on educating responsible state and local officials on the many harmful impacts of road salt, and actively worked on developing and implementing new winter road maintenance methods by the NYSDOT. The result: a 30% reduction in the use of environmentally harmful road salt! But there is much more to be done.  

Our current efforts are focused on economic motivations for reducing road salt use. We recently funded a study showing that the data indeed exists to demonstrate costs associated with road salt damage to personal vehicles, DOT Vehicles, and bridges/NYS infrastructure. We are working with Adirondack Research to produce a study on the "Hidden Costs of Road Salt"; The full study will need to be grant funded, but in order to justify a grant, we need to sponsor a smaller preliminary research effort ‚Äčas an example of the type and quality of work we intend to produce. 

The preliminary phase of research is focused on calculating the cost of rehabilitation or replacement of bridge decks over a five-year period for each region and county in New York. AdkAction.org will match new dollars raised in an ADK Gives campaign to reach our goal of raising $9000 to pay for the research necessary to show that road salt is not only an environmental concern, but an economic concern as well. Please email us at info@adkaction.org and let us know if you are willing to donate towards this very important project.

> Read More about our Road Salt Initiative 


SALT FORUM

 

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