There are also consequences for wildlife. Dr. Hintz stated that his review had shown that high levels of salinity in freshwater ecosystems have already led to a decrease in the number and growth of freshwater organisms as well as a reduction their reproduction output.
The Latest News on Climate Change
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate, road salt can also corrode vehicles and bridges. The US spends $5 billion annually on repairs. AAA recommends that motorists wash and clean vehicles frequently during winter to reduce the effects of road salt.
According to the Salt Association of Britain, salt is the most economical form of deicing materials and has a low impact on the environment when used responsibly. According to the organization, winter road maintenance can have environmental impacts, as with all highway maintenance activities. The burden of winter road maintenance can be reduced by managing the highway depots, spreading vehicles, and de-icing agents.
Alternative methods may be used to mitigate the damage.
There are many options that can be used to reduce salt consumption without compromising driver safety.
One way is to treat roads prior to storms with a salt brine mixture. This can reduce salt consumption by 75 percent while maintaining road safety, according to Cary Institute. Also, it is possible to reduce waste by creating better salt storage locations.
Some counties, such as Jefferson County, Wis. have already made changes. Bill Kern, county highway commissioner, stated that switching to a brine solution has allowed the county to reduce its salt use by up 60 percent since 2018, without causing an increase in accidents. Kern stated that the county has saved about $1.6 million by using less salt since 2018.
Some states, including Rhode Island over the past ten years, have passed legislation to reduce their use road salt. In winter, they have started to apply a brine solution to their roads. However, environmentalists argue that more needs to done.