HIGHWAY SALT: SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

AN ARGUMENT AGAINST PERSISTENT EFFORTS TO EXPAND THE USE OF HIGHWAY SALT AS AN ASSUMED MOST EFFICIENT, SAFE, AND CHEAP ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF SNOW REMOVAL IS PRESENTED BASED ON A SYSTEMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE FOLLOWING FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS: (1) WHAT IS SALT PHYSICALLY, CHEMICALLY, AND BIOLOGICALLY? (2) WHY DOES SALT MELT ICE AND SNOW? (3) WHAT IS THE FATE OF SALT IN THE ENVIRONMENT? (4) WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SALT, SAFETY, AND ECONOMICS? SEVERAL SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS ARE MADE THAT, IF JUDICIOUSLY APPLIED TO CURRENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, POSSESS THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT RELIEF OF EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS. AMONG THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE: (1) USE CAREFULLY CONTROLLED APPLICATIONS OF SALT ACCORDING TO CALCULATED NEED BY SKILLED OPERATIONS; (2) MAKE A FUNCTIONAL SURVEY OF LOCAL STREETS TO DETERMINE THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS LOCATION (TROUBLESOME HILLS, INTERSECTIONS, ETC.) TO APPLY THE SALT; (3) MAINTAIN SPREADING EQUIPMENT IN EXCELLENT REPAIR; (4) KEEP SALT STORAGE PILES PROPERLY CONTAINED AND PROTECTED FROM WIND AND RAIN; (5) USE CAUTION IN DISCARDING SALT- CONTAINING WASTES; AND (6) KEEP INFORMED ABOUT RECENT SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENTS. THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE NOT CONSIDERED FINAL ANSWERS. THEY ARE AT BEST TENTATIVE AND MUST REMAIN CONSTANTLY SUBJECT TO CONTINUING REVIEW AND REEVALUATION.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 3-13
  • Monograph Title: Environmental degradation by de-icing chemicals and effective countermeasures
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00219096
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309021545
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1973 12:00AM