County and Town Earn Winter Management Certiciation

The Hague Chronicle

Warren County and the Town of Hague have earned the Sustainable Winter Management (SWiM®) Program certification for reducing the use of road salt and its runoff into Lake George and other waterways while maintaining safe driving conditions.

The certifications were presented on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at the Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit, organized by The FUND for Lake George, the Lake George Waterkeeper, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, AdkAction, and the AusableRiver Association.

The SWiM® certification was developed and is administered by winter management consulting firm WIT Advisers, LLC, of Delanson, NY. In 2018, the Town of Lake George became the first municipality in North America to earn the certification.

Warren County and the Town of Hague earned their SWiM® certifications based on their proven abilities to use real-time data and photographic evidence to monitor, 

measure,self-assess, and adjust their winter road maintenance procedures to keep the roads as clear as possible while minimizing the use of salt.

Among the best practice techniques used by the county and town are: applying pre-coatings of liquid brine on roads in advance of winter storms to minimize ice buildup; using special “live edge plows” to remove snow closer to the road surface; and equipping their plow trucks with technologies that calibrate and track road salt application and monitor road conditions.

Eric Siy, executive director of The FUND for Lake George, said, “Thanks in large part to the leadership and investment of Warren County and the Town of Hague, and the diligent work of their highway departments, the Lake George Salt Reduction Initiative has become a national model for protecting waterways against the consequences of road salt runoff. The success these municipalities are having is also helping inspire others from both the public and private sectors to step forward and learn how they can play a role, as evidenced by the tremendous attendance at this year's Summit.”

Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky said, “These certifications are a testament to the dedication of the county and town plow truck operators who have really embraced this initiative and are proud of the direct role they play in keeping road salt out of Lake George while making sure our roads remain safe for driving. Their ability to self-assess their performance and strive for continuous improvement will make a big difference in the long-term health of the lake.”

Hague Supervisor Edna Frasier said,  “I am extremely proud of our Highway Department and how diligently they have worked to earn this certification. Deputy Highway Superintendent Matt Coffin has spearheaded our efforts and inspired our team to make salt-reduction a priority while keeping our roads safe. It's wonderful to know that we are doing our part to protect the lake.”

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