Minneapolis Sees Slow Progress in Curbing Road Salt Use
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota isn't close to its goal of reducing its use of road salt that keeps drivers safe in winter weather conditions, but Minneapolis is showing slow progress.
Road salt used by winter maintenance crews is a worrisome pollutant. Heavy use of road salt over the past 20 years is causing many lakes to show chloride levels considered dangerous to aquatic life.
Many alternatives to road salt can negatively impact the environment. It can also be costly for cities to adopt new technology.
Mike Kennedy leads Minneapolis' winter maintenance. He says it's tricky balancing safety, cost and the environment.
Kennedy says that the city used 20,000 tons of salt per year about 20 years ago. Now, he says they're down to 15,000 tons at most.