Posts Tagged ‘road salt pollution’

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

We won’t stop reporting on road salt

road salt event

The research is done. Now what?

It was great to see so many people take the time to follow our coverage of road salt pollution and then come to our panel discussion last week to hear about what’s next in the fight to reduce road salt use. In case you missed it, here’s Adirondack Explorer’s story.We also have a recording of the event to share, for those who couldn’t make it.

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Photo: Adirondack Explorer photo from a road salt panel discussion Feb. 15, 2024 at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Discussion time: Road salt

road salt event graphic


Discussion time: What’s the future of road salt use in the Adirondacks?

The Adirondack Road Salt Reduction Task Force in September released a detailed report outlining a path to lower salt use in the Adirondack Park and statewide.

The report called for strengthening water standards, spreading best practices, tracking salt use, improving responses to contamination and expanding public understanding of awareness. But the report did not include an implementation plan or accountability system to ensure state officials act on recommendations.

So what comes next? With a panel of task force members and other experts, the Adirondack Explorer will examine what’s in the report, how to carry out its recommendations and the latest in the long-running movement to combat road salt pollution in the park. Join us for the event (more info and RSVP here).

What would you want to ask the panel? What should the state be considering going forward? Leave a comment here or email

Sunday, January 28, 2024

How we should approach road salt

road salt truck

By Phill Sexton

Let’s give road salt a new identity, a new purpose of conservation, innovation and responsibility.

Salt is an Environmental Protection Agency-designated pollutant that we are allowed to apply unregulated. Unnecessary and copious applications of salt (and sand) on surfaces we walk and drive on has progressively increased for decades—an epidemic that is getting worse.

Slip and fall claims and vehicle accidents are framed as the primary reason for oversalting. Liability is a legitimate concern based on my experience as a contractor forced by insurance companies to settle out of court for bogus claims. But we must stop expecting roads and surfaces to be slip-free, which is unachievable.

Solutions for reducing road salt use will be achieved through awareness – education and outreach campaigns – and at an operational level by following sustainable winter management standards. These are monumental outcomes given society’s current appetite for immediate gratification and their right to drive and go wherever they want, whenever they want.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Clean Water Act turns 50

Lake Champlain continues to be impacted by non-regulated runoff. Explorer file photo.

Fifty years ago this week, federal lawmakers overrode a presidential veto to enact the Clean Water Act, a landmark law for the nation’s water quality.

The iconic image of the Cuyahoga River on fire in Ohio spurred congressional action and ushered in a half century of major river restorations across the nation. The goals outlined in the act included restoring the country’s water to a “fishable and swimmable” state.

The law imposed new permitting requirements on polluting industries and sewage treatment plants, but it failed to address diffuse pollution from storm and agricultural runoff, the largest source of pollution in many parts of the country. The standards adopted under the law in many places are now decades old or unable to address emerging problems.

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Adirondack Watershed Institute wins grants to study road salt pollution and green infrastructure improvements

PAUL SMITHS (July 21, 2022) –Officials at Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) announced it was recently awarded two research grants from the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP). The first grant will help scientists and policy makers understand the extent of road salt pollution in Lake Champlain. The second grant will support AWI scientists to assess the effectiveness of recent stormwater upgrades in Lake Placid to improve water quality in Mirror Lake.
Road salt is as a significant source of pollution in the Lake Champlain Basin, which includes 11 sub-basins drained from major tributaries in New York, Vermont, and Quebec including the Saranac, Ausable, Winooski, Missisquoi, and Lamoille Rivers. With the generous support of the LCBP, AWI scientists will compile existing data from all water bodies within the Lake Champlain Basin to determine what is driving sodium and chloride levels. As a result, scientists will have a better understanding of the extent and cause of road salt pollution in the basin, which will help inform long-term practices to reduce road salt and protect the environment.
“We look forward to working with LCBP to understand long-term changes, their causes, and the trajectory of sodium and chloride concentrations in the Lake Champlain Basin,” said Dr. Brendan Wiltse, senior research scientist for AWI and Principal Investigator for both grants. “As a result, New York and Vermont decision makers will be better informed to make management decisions that benefit the environment and the public.”

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