Public Meeting and Comment Period to Introduce the Salt Management Strategy Toolkit, January 21st

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:
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.

Road Salt Trivia from the Virginia DEQ

A December 2019 survey found that around half of the population in Northern Virginia is allowed to telework during a winter storm. Of that population that can telework, only 20% always or mostly take advantage of that opportunity during a winter storm. Similarly, only 23% of people always avoid or postpone non-work activities during a winter storm. However, it is promising to note that 87% of respondents are willing to consider reducing or eliminating their travels if salt use had to be reduced. Although the impacts from salts were not well known by the respondents (on average less than 40% knew), most respondents (86%) are willing to consider supporting reductions in salt use if they knew of the impacts to drinking water and the environment. Click here to see the full summary that was presented at the last Education & Outreach workgroup meeting in February, 2020.

Learn more about the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Salt Management Strategy Development.

102nd NVSWCD Green Breakfast, Jan. 11th

Brion’s Grille
10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, 11 January 2020
Breakfast begins at 8:30 am, $10 at the door, cash preferred
No prior registration required

Getting Winter Ready – An Update on the Northern Virginia Salt Management Strategy
Sarah Sivers, Water Quality Planning Team Lead with the Virginia DEQ-Northern Regional Office

It’s been two years since the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality began the stakeholder process to develop a salt management strategy and address the elevated chloride levels in Fairfax County streams. Since then, DEQ along with a stakeholder group have prepared a draft list of recommendations. Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District for a warm breakfast and hear from Water Quality Planning Team Lead, Sarah Sivers, who will provide background on how all of this began, the status of the program, and draft strategies and recommendations.

Breakfast includes an all-you-can eat hot buffet with fresh fruit and coffee, tea, orange juice or water. No prior registration required. If you have any questions, please contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water at