AN ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF HIGHWAY DEICING

The study involves an analysis of the cost of damages that result from the use of salt (sodium chloride and calcium chloride) on highways to melt snow and ice. A large literature search and several surveys were carried out in order to determine the types and extent of damages that have occurred. The report contains over 320 references. An in-depth analysis was performed on all of the data obtained. The major cost sectors examined were: Water supplies and health, vegetation, highway structures, vehicles, and utilities. For each of the sectors a cost estimate was developed. The total annual national cost of salt related damage approaches $3 billion dollars or about 15 times the annual national cost for salt purchase and application. While the largest costs result from damage to vehicles, the most serious damage seems to be the pollution of water supplies and the degradation of health which may result. It is particularly difficult to assign costs in this latter area and therefore the estimate may substantially understate the actual indirect costs to society.

  • Corporate Authors:

    ABT Associates, Incorporated

    55 Wheeler Street
    Cambridge, MA  USA  02138

    Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory

    26 West St Clair
    Cincinnatic, OH  USA  45219
  • Authors:
    • Murray, D M
    • Ernst, UFW
  • Publication Date: 1976-5

Media Info

  • Pagination: 138 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00137146
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: EPA-600/2-76/105 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: EPA-68-03-0442
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 4 1976 12:00AM