Salt Institute Honors Snowfighters for Protecting Motorists and the Environment

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Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Awards were given to 90 facilities; 9 for first time.

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The familiar sight of trucks spreading salt on icy winter roads gives motorists reassurance, as it should. - Roman

The Salt Institute is honoring 90 transportation facilities across the United States and Canada with its 2013 Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting award recognizing environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt.

Clear winter roads protect lives and commerce. Every winter, more than 116,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 killed as a result of pavement that is snow, slush or ice covered, according to the federal government. But studies of highways in Snow Belt states and Canada showed that road salt reduces crashes by 88 to 93 percent.

When the direct and indirect impact of road shutdowns on the broader economy is factored in, road salt becomes even more valuable. A one-day major snowstorm can cost a state $300-$700 million in direct and indirect costs, lost commerce and productivity. In fact, deicing pays for itself within the first 25 minutes after the salt is spread—making proper salt storage and timely deicing a smart investment.

“These facilities have cleared a high bar,” said Salt Institute President Lori Roman. “For example, in minimizing salt runoff alone, 10 specific recommendations must be met.”

About 17 million tons of deicing salt is applied to roadways in the U.S. each year and another six million tons are spread in Canada. Having enough road salt on hand before storms hit requires advance planning and facilities that provide safe and efficient storage. Winners must also display proper maintenance and good housekeeping practices.

“The familiar sight of trucks spreading salt on icy winter roads gives motorists reassurance, as it should,” said Roman. “If that salt was stored in and spread by a facility honored with a Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting award, motorists have the added assurance of knowing the utmost care has been taken to protect public safety and the environment.” A complete list of winners by state is available on the Salt Institute website.

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.

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Laura Elliott
Salt Institute
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