Posts Tagged ‘Road Salt’

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Groups urge Gov. to sign road salt reduction bill

A coalition of Adirondack conservationists is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign into law a bi-partisan bill that would help reduce road salt pollution and protect drinking water in the Adirondack Park.

The legislation creates an Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force and Pilot Program. If approved by the Governor, the new law would establish a salt-reduction pilot program from October 2021 through 2024 to test alternative measures already shown to work better and cost less than current winter road maintenance practices.  Highway safety would remain the top priority.

New York State has applied millions of tons of road salt to the park’s highways since it began using salt in 1980.

The Adirondack Park contains more than 11,000 lakes and ponds, and more than 30,000 miles of rivers, brook and streams.  It is the source of most of the state’s major rivers.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 29, 2020

A salty subject

This past Tuesday, the Explorer hosted our first public event of the COVID era — a Zoom panel discussion with Dan Kelting, the head of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith’s College.

We focused on something Kelting has been studying for a decade and I’ve been reporting on all year: road salt and what it does to drinking water supplies in the Adirondacks.

Kelting dived into the issue years ago, first to roundup what was known about road salt pollution elsewhere and then to find out what it was doing to the Adirondacks. In sum, too much salt running off roads ends up in waterways. There, it harms humans by messing with heart and kidney function, destroys plumbing and upends ecosystems.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Join a conversation about road salt, pollution

Join Explorer reporter Ry Rivard and Dan Kelting, head of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith’s College, to talk about one of the major sources of water pollution in our region: the road salt showing up in water supplies across the Adirondacks. Ry Rivard has been reporting on this issue for the Explorer. Dan Kelting has been studying road salt for years and tested hundreds of private wells. The event will take place online starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25. The conversation between Ry and Dan will last about 30 minutes, followed by your questions. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Monday, August 17, 2020

Road salt and lawsuits

When Americans try to work something out but fail, we head to court.

But that option isn’t available for many long-suffering New Yorkers with water made undrinkable by road salt.

Road salt has been a known threat to the environment and human health for decades. Yet, the state of New York, which applies about as much per mile of roadway as any other state, depending on the year, has done little to prevent, clean up or truly quantify much of the problem.

That has stood out to me in several months of reporting on how road salt is fouling up water in and around the Adirondacks. The scale of the problem is so uncertain that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers may have salty water without even knowing it.

But when they do find out, they have a heck of a time trying to make things right.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Adirondack groups cheer passing of road salt reduction bill

road salt The NYS Senate granted final approval Thursday to a bi-partisan bill that would help reduce road salt pollution and protect drinking water in the Adirondack Park.

The legislation creates an Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force and Pilot Program. If approved by the Governor, the new law would establish a salt-reduction pilot program from October 2021 through 2024 to test alternative measures already shown to work better and cost less than current winter road maintenance practices.  Highway safety would remain the top priority.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Tracking the salt

snow plow courtesy DOTOver the past several months, as we’ve investigated road salt pollution in homeowners’ water, we’ve been keeping an eye out for lab tests that show salt getting into town and village water supplies.

It stood to reason that since road salt can run off roads into private wells, it could also get into water supplies used by larger public drinking water systems.

But tracking the spread of salt is complicated because of uneven testing by public water systems across upstate New York. The state’s Department of Health decides which contaminants public water suppliers have to test for each year.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Brine: The Salty Flavor of Road Safety

Flavored ice treats such as the popsicle and its plastic-sheathed cousin the freeze-pop have been around since the 1920s, but until recently the selections have been less than bold; mainly fruits, with maybe a watermelon ice-pop here and there.

But Canada and the northern U.S. have some daring thinkers who were tired of conventional frozen fare. As a result of their innovations, a number of snowy cities now offer cheese-flavored ice, as well as pickle and beet. No lie. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Warren County, Hague Certified for Sustainable Winter Management

Fund Hague TeamWarren County and the Town of Hague have earned the Sustainable Winter Management (SWiM) Program certification for reducing the use of road salt — and its runoff into Lake George and other waterways — while maintaining safe driving conditions.

The SWiM certification was developed and is administered by winter management consulting firm WIT Advisers, LLC, of Delanson, NY. In 2018, the Town of Lake George became the first municipality in North America to earn the certification. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 24, 2019

AsRA Gets $175k Grant For Road Salt Pollution

Mirror Lake Scientist provided by AsRAThis month, the Ausable River Association (AsRA) was awarded a $175,000 grant by the Lake Champlain Basin Program to advance effective, science-based approaches to reducing road salt impacts to Mirror Lake. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

2018 Mirror Lake Monitoring Report Released

Mirror Lake Report The Ausable River Association (AsRA) and Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) have released the 2018 Water Quality Report for Mirror Lake. The report shows that Mirror Lake continues to be negatively affected by road salt and that lack of mixing in the spring, first documented in 2017, remains a problem. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 5, 2019

Sustainable Winter Road Maintenance Workshops

AdkAction is set to offer Sustainable Winter Road Maintenance Training Workshops for Departments of Public Works and Highway Departments in Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties during the week of April 8-12, 2019 as part of their ongoing Road Salt Reduction Project.

Registration is required and open to town, county, and state road maintenance crews and there is no fee to register. Lunch and coffee will also be provided free of charge. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Hammond Pond Wild Forest Changes Highlight APA Agenda

APA Building in Ray Brook NYThe Adirondack Park Agency will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook on Thursday, March 14th and Friday March 15th, 2019. Thursday’s meeting will begin at 1 pm and Friday’s session will commence at 9:30 am.

The meeting will feature a presentation on final draft of the Hammond Pond Wild Forest Unit Management Plan and consideration of a public comment period regarding conformance of the plan to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. Also a presentation on road salt reduction initiatives around Lake George is on the agenda, and more.

What follows is the agenda issued by the APA: » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

91% of Hamilton Co Lakes Studied Affected by Road Salt

Preparing to collect water quality data from Fawn Lake Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute and the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District have collaborated on a study detailing long term trends of the water quality in 21 Hamilton County lakes.

“The State of Hamilton County Lakes: A 25 Year Perspective 1993 – 2017” was developed to deliver a countywide assessment of the current and historical water quality status and in hopes of guiding future watershed management decisions. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Minimizing Salt Injury to Trees and Shrubs

Every winter brings its annual a-salt on roads and walkways. In icy conditions, salt may be necessary for safety, but too much of it is worse than a bad pun. Cars, equipment, and concrete suffer in obvious ways, but damage to trees and other woody plants is less visible. Salt injures trees and shrubs by several means.

When road-salt spray hits twigs, buds and, in the case of evergreens, foliage, such direct contact causes yellowing of needles, and subsequent death of evergreen twigs and limbs. It also leads to stunted or deformed growth, such as witches’ brooms, on hardwoods. Severe or repeated direct exposure, especially for sensitive species like white pine or cedar, can kill the whole tree. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Chris Navitsky: Work To Limit Road Salt

Lake George Scientists in the 1970s began to notice and be alarmed by the abnormally acidic lakes and streams they were discovering throughout the Adirondacks. In some cases, fish populations were disappearing. Their groundbreaking work coined the term acid rain, caused by fossil-fuel emissions that drifted on high-altitude winds and were flushed down in cloud bursts.

Today, just as science-driven rules limiting industrial and vehicular emissions have helped our local waterways begin to recover, evidence we are seeing supports new approaches to safely managing snow and ice on roadways, driveways, and sidewalks while protecting our freshwater resources. » Continue Reading.



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