Each winter, many state, county, and local transportation departments must stock their arsenal with the tools necessary to face whatever winter storms may bring. Every winter communities across the U.S. pour thousands of tons of salt and other deicing materials on roads and highways. Rock salt, or sodium chloride (NaCl), is the most commonly used deicing agent. The salt works by dissolving into precipitation on roadways and lowering the freezing point, thereby melting ice and snow. Eliminating the ice has enormous safety benefits, but depending on the amount of chemicals used, the dissolved salt can have negative effects on the surrounding environment.
LGEAN resources most applicable to snow removal include:
Deicing. Provides a summary of issues covering storage, application of highway deicing chemicals and alternatives. Provides links to best management practices. Also covers airport/aircraft deicing.
Watersheds. Provides a summary of issues relating to watershed protection/restoration, which is accomplished through efforts at various levels including EPA, state agencies, local agencies and private organizations.
Stormwater. Provides a summary of issues including MS4 and construction rules. Also provides links to numerous useful websites and documents.
Additional resources (exit LGEAN):
- Highway Deicing and Anti-Icing for Safety and Mobility. The Salt Institute summarizes the importance of winter roadway maintenance for safety and mobility.