Environmentalists, snowplow operators work on road salt replacements

Environmentalists are working side-by-side with snow plow operators on strategies for reducing the use of road salt.

It seems rock salt may go the way of VHS tapes, replaced by a new, better technology.

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That new technology revolves largely around spraying the roads with a brine solution, instead of the old-fashioned way of scattering rock salt across the road and into waterways.

In the small northern Warren County town of Hague, they’ve reduced their use of salt by hundreds of tons every year by spraying a brine solution onto the roads in advance of storms.

The brine prevents the snow from sticking to the road, making it easier to plow, reducing the need for sand, which saves money and cuts down on contaminants that seep into the lake.

"It’s working. We’re doing our part. We’re still getting feedback that our roads are safe…everything is starting to come full circle," said Tim Fiallo with the Hague Highway Department. "Now, we’re looking for the next five years, what more can we do? How much better can we make this work for the environment, for the drivers’ safety."

Environmentalist say they’re seeing improvements in water quality in places like Hague, where they’re using less salt.

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Learn about some other places where similar options are being tested by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.