Mike Kalis, Ken Frosig, Chris Franke
Kevin Bigalke, Nine Mile Creek Watershed District
Eric Novotny from the University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory began the day with his team’s latest research on the impacts of road salt on Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area lakes. Their important findings indicate a large percentage of the salt used on metro area roads is retained in surface and ground water. Novotny presented information on the numerous negative impacts of chlorides from road salt to our environment. For more information about Novotny’s research, please click here to view a recent article in Facets of Freshwater.
|University of Minnesota researchers Heinz Stefan and Eric Novotny and Dan Murphy, a former graduate student, accept an Environmental Leadership Award from Freshwater Society President Gene Merriam. Consultant Connie Fortin is at the podium.|
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Watershed Section Manager, Glenn Skuta, presented his agency’s plan to help the Minnesota waters that have been identified as impaired due to harmful amounts of chlorides. He also talked about the MPCA’s educational programs on alternatives to road salt and best management practices for winter maintenance.
A possible alternative to road salt was presented by Dr. Thomas Ballestero from the University of New Hampshire’s Storm Water Center. His research and use with porous pavements has shown potential to decrease amounts of deicing materials in northern climates, therefore improving water quality.
Dr. Scott Koefod from Cargill Salt and Deicing Technology presented the latest research on liquid deicers as alternatives to road salt. Dr. Wilfrid Nixon shared information on the advances in winter maintenance that help to protect our environment. A team of environmental specialists – Wendy Frederickson, Kathy Schaefer, and Joe Huenke from the Minnesota Department of Transportation also spoke about Minnesota’s work to bring the latest innovations to winter maintenance programs to decrease impacts on the environment while maintaining safety.
Environmental Leadership Awards were also presented to several individuals and organizations whose acts of best management practices and environmental awareness have had a positive impact on our freshwater resources.