ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF HIGHWAY DEICING SALTS

This paper reports on an analysis of the cost of damages that result from sodium chloride used to melt snow and ice on highways. An extensive literature search and several surveys were made to determine the types and extent of damages that have occurred. The major cost sectors examined were water supplies and health, vegetation, highway structues, vehicles, and utilities. A conservative cost estimate was developed for each sector. The total annual national cost of salt-related damage approaches $3 billion, about 15 times the annual cost of the salt and its application. The highest direct costs results from damage to vehicles, but the most serious damage appears to be the pollution of water supplies and the attendant degradation of health. It is difficult to assign costs to this, and therefore the estimate may substantially understate actual indirect costs to society. These findings indicate that some areas should, on the basis of local conditions, reduce the amount of salt used. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 29-40
  • Monograph Title: Evaluating Bridge Structures, Pavement Maintenance, Roadside Management, Deicing Salts, Transport of Hazardous Materials
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184731
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026768
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-024 782
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1978 12:00AM