Our Lake George Waterkeeper, Chris Navitsky, attended the Adirondack Lakes Alliance Conference on August 8, 2018 at Paul Smith's College on salt contamination.
He reports that the following are highlights of the information presenters gave regarding the use of road salt:
1. Road salt is impacting the waters of the Adirondack Park (both surface water and ground water), as documented through studies performed by The FUND for Lake George and the Adirondack Watershed Institute, with the greater impact resulting from winter maintenance practices of NYS DOT. A recent study by the AWI that was partially funded by The FUND, 50% of individual residential drinking wells affected by runoff from NYS DOT maintained roads exceed drinking water standards for sodium.
2. The FUND for Lake George has implemented the first watershed-wide analysis of salt application rates in the country with our Lake George Salt Reduction Initiative. Currently, 20 municipal trucks have GPS data tracking units installed to collect application rates to analyze implementation of better winter maintenance practices and equipment with a goal to reduce road salt use by 50% by 2020. The Town of Hague is a participant.
3. We have presented our Science to Solution model to NYS DOT and we are encouraged that they have committed to implement a salt reduction pilot project for a 17-mile stretch of Route 9N from the Village of Lake George to Tongue Mountain.