New York’s Department of Transportation this winter plans to test better salt management practices for 17 miles of Route 9N north from Lake George Village and 16 miles of Route 86 from Lake Placid to Wilmington.
Lake Placid has three times more parking asphalt than state roadways, compounding salt pollution from snowplow operations.
By Michael Virtanen LAKE GEORGE _ Public works trucks now dump almost 193,000 tons of salt on highways and local roads annually in the Adirondacks, which eventually join runoff into the region’s waterways, according to the Paul Smith’s College professor who’s researching it. Daniel Kelting, also executive director of the Adirondack Watershed Institute, said the total is almost seven million tons of sodium chloride since the practice began around the 1980 Winter Olympics, raising the salt levels in most Adirondack waterways, which were historically low. “This widespread use of road salt has resulted in regional salinization of our surface waters, >>More
Environmentalists, scientists, and public officials in the Lake George region are stepping up efforts to reduce road-salt contamination in the lake’s watershed. Eric Siy, executive director of the Fund for Lake George, said at a conference in October that thirty years of research has shown that the lake is getting more salty. “It’s an issue that has gone unaddressed for literally decades, and now is the time [to address it],” Siy said. “With the science we now have in hand, we can solve the problem.” The Fund for Lake George was one of many organizations and municipalities in the Lake >>More
Experts and officials look for ways to reduce the use of road salt, which can persist in the environment for many years. By Mike Lynch Standing next to a small, unnamed stream near where it empties into Mountain Pond on a cool September day, scientist Dan Kelting reads a sensor he just dipped in the water to measure electrical conductivity, which is used to gauge road-salt concentrations. Pure water is a poor conductor of electricity, but road salt, or sodium chloride, increases conductivity. Based on the conductivity reading (285 microsiemens per centimeter), Kelting calculates that the water contains 80 milligrams of chloride per >>More