Article by Joe Gorney; Photo by Ann Fossa on Unsplash
The use of salt during the winter provides benefits, such as making roads and sidewalks safer and keeping businesses and services open. However, winter salt use also impacts the following:
• Drinking water (which is especially challenging for people on salt-restricted diets)
• Infrastructure and property (through corrosion)
• Freshwater fish and other aquatic life (which are not adapted for salty water)
To balance the benefits and impacts of salt, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) has been working with agency and community stakeholders on the development of a Salt Management Strategy (SaMS). SaMS will include recommendations and resources for winter maintenance professionals and residents, including water quality monitoring tools and plans; practices to improve water quality; and strategies to promote collaboration and improvement in public awareness and winter maintenance practices.
As part of these ongoing efforts, VDEQ announced the pending public release of a stakeholder-developed Salt Management Strategy Toolkit. To introduce the Toolkit, VDEQ is holding a public meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2021 followed by a 30-day public comment period. The public meeting will be held entirely through remote, electronic means. Included below is meeting and comment period information:
1. Public meeting: January 21, 2021 @ 6:30 pm
o Register for this meeting here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2180983979203362831
2. 30-day public comment period: January 22, 2021 through February 22, 2021
Following the public meeting and comment period, VDEQ will address community comments and transition into the implementation phase.
Please consider registering and offering your recommendations for a healthier community and environment.