ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is asking for the public’s help in putting the state’s waters on a low-salt diet this winter.

When snow and ice accumulate on roads, parking lots and sidewalks, out comes the salt to melt it. When the snow and ice melt, most of the salt runs off with it, washing into lakes and streams. And once that salt gets in the water, it becomes a permanent pollutant.

The MPCA says there are many ways to reduce salt use while maintaining safety standards. One is shoveling. Removing snow and ice manually means less salt is needed to clear it away.

The agency also recommends not exceeding the application instructions on the package when spreading salt, and sweeping up any that remains once the pavement is dry.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Kevin says:

    Great idea…..send some of those over paid liberals from the MN Pollution Control Agency over….I have some extra shovels….

  2. Mary Lehan says:

    The snow we received on New Years weekend has left the road in terrible condition. My first thought was that the streets should have been sanded, not salted. I have not been using salt for many years to clear my driveway or walks. Instead I have used “kitty litter” because the tracksion is better and it is not harmful to the environment.
    I have helped numerous people get out of snow situations with their cars, and “kitty litter” has been the answer. It may be difficult to train society to use less salt because it has been drilled into their heads that salt is the answer. In my way of thinking, salt is not the answer and never has been. Let’s get back to the task at hand: mix half the amount of salt with half sand. The environment is suffering because we are not caring for it in the best way.

  3. tom says:

    All of my neighbors on my street and cul-de-sac have said they do not want any salt applied to our street. This was taken to our city only to have Minnetonka say they cannot honor the request because it is a safety violation (the street and cul-de-sac is remote and at least in my opinion does not need salt, however I do appreciate Minnetonka looking out for my saftey). We then asked for sand alone but got the same result. Now I am not sure how these ‘rules’ get made, but it sure makes sense to allow for such a request. To reduce the salt in our lakes it makes sense to examine the largest contributor. Keep in mind that I don’t advocate a total salt abstinence but rather a case by case exanimation. Minnetonka could reduce salt usage by a substantial amount if ‘sleepy’ streets and cul-de-sacs could go sand only.

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