Naples, FL-The Government of Canada is funding a Guide for Management of Salt Vulnerable Areas to assist road organizations in identifying, categorizing and planning for mitigation of impacts of road salts. The Salt Institute encourages research that advances the field of safe and sustainable snowfighting.
The Salt Institute and its member companies have led the way for decades in educating snowfighters around the country in safe and sustainable snowfighting and salt storage. An important study was done by the University of Waterloo which showed that when best practices are implemented environmental concerns are erased. The study can be accessed at http://www.saltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Road-Using-Best-Road-Salt-Management-Practices-Waterloo-2010-1.pdf
Salt is our most important winter resource, because it saves lives and protects the economy. It is economical and extremely effective. In fact the benefits of salting roads means that road salting pays for itself within 25 minutes of application.
Road salting and plowing can reduce injury crashes by up to 85%. (http://www.highways.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Brochure-FINAL-LoRes.pdf) And clear roads allow ambulances and other emergency vehicles to perform their life saving services. The sight of salt trucks reassures citizens that their safety is important.
Protecting citizens from serious injury is the top concern, but each crash is also a small scale environmental disaster, involving the spilling of fuel, engine coolants, anti-freeze liquids and the like. Should the crash involve hazardous material carriers, then the negative environmental consequences of NOT using road salt are substantial.
Clear winter roads also protect commerce. The use of salt allows a thriving economy during winter months. According to a Global Insight study (http://www.saltinstitute.org/research/economic-costs-of-poor-snowfighting/) a one day shutdown due to a snowstorm can cost a region up to $700 million in direct and indirect costs. Hourly workers are most harmed by weather related shutdowns.
Research and training in efficient road salt use is encouraged to achieve the maximum benefit to public safety and commerce while protecting the environment. The Salt Institute is committed to providing resources in Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting to assist snowfighting organizations. http://www.saltinstitute.org/publication/safe-and-sustainable-snowfighting/
We commend those agencies practicing the Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting approach to snow and ice control, which emphasizes getting the most from every application of deicing salt while maintaining the safest roads possible and protecting the environment.
Modern strategies to effectively deal with winter road hazards depend upon having the most up-to-date information of expected weather conditions, the timely deployment of anti-icing to prevent ice-pavement bonding, properly calibrated application of road salt, improved equipment, automatic spreader controls, sufficient and proper storage, and stockpile logistics to make salting of roads the most effective and safest customer-driven method for snow and ice control.
Environmental concerns about the use and storage of salt need not exist if there is a balanced approach to the use of salt for snow and ice control — one that demonstrates excellence in achieving safety, mobility and care for the environment.
The Salt Institute is a North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the many benefits of salt, particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition.