VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. Department of Transportation is taking a close look at alternatives to road salt following an Environment Canada assessment of its toxicity.
B.C. contractors use about 80,000 tonnes of road salt annually, and although there are currently no plans to do away with that, the province would like to have other options in the event that road salt is found to be toxic.
Currently, B.C. has been testing other anti-icing products and using Automated Remote Weather Information System (ARWIS) information to help reduce the use of salt. But to this point, no individual alternative will work in all conditions.
The alternatives are also generally higher priced, ranging from six to 100 times more in cost.
The Department of Transportation has hired consultants and devoted staff to investigate the impact of road salt on vegetation and groundwater.
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