Minnesota State Agencies Take Action to Reduce Road Salt Usage
As winter continues to bring snow and ice to Minnesota, state agencies are working to reduce the environmental impact of road salt usage.
According to pollution experts, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and public works departments are being more cautious about their use of road salt, which can have negative effects on lakes, streams, fish, and insects.
Recent reports from Mobile 11, a news station in Minnesota, suggest that more snow plows are being used to lay down road salt on the roads.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency suspects that public works departments have been using more road salt this winter than in typical years due to the large snow events that have occurred.
However, the state officials are concerned about the impact of chloride in road salt, which can permanently pollute water.
Just one teaspoon of road salt can pollute 5 gallons of water.
The issue with chloride is that it never breaks down, doesn’t get attached to soil particles, and moves wherever the water goes.
To address this issue, the state has a special training program organized by the Pollution Control Agency, which teaches public works departments how to use road salt effectively.
Reports suggest that after completing this training, departments have been able to use 70% less road salt in the following winter.
As public awareness grows about the negative impact of road salt on the environment, Minnesota state agencies are taking proactive steps to reduce its usage and find more environmentally friendly alternatives to ensure safer roads for motorists without harming the environment.