Road Salt Symposium Fall 2019


19th Annual Road Salt Symposium

October 24, 2019

8:15 am - 3:00 pm
Jimmy’s Event Center
3565 Labore Road, Vadnais Heights, MN 55110

The Road Salt Symposium is getting an upgrade!
New time of year, new location, same great low-sodium flavor. 

We asked for feedback, listened, and made some changes moving forward that attendees wanted. After multiple participant surveys, October emerged as the best time of year for this event. We will continue to bring you the most current research; provide local, regional, and national perspectives on winter maintenance; and feature Environmental Leadership Awards for those doing exceptional work to reduce salt use and advance the field of winter maintenance. Moving it to October will allow us to do this before the snow flies (hopefully!).

The 19th annual Road Salt Symposium will take place October 24 at Jimmy’s Event Center – a new venue that will provide a larger, more comfortable space for attendees. We are very excited to announce these changes and hope they will make the symposium an even better experience. We look forward to seeing you in October!

Register now!


*All attendees will receive a  complimentary
copy of the 2020 Minnesota Weatherguide
Environment Calendar and Almanac!




OCTOBER 2019 TOPICS (to date)

Opening comments from MnDOT and MPCA
Katrina Kessler, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Sue Mulvihill, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation

Heavy metal: icebreakers and underbodies
Jed Falgren, MNDOT
MnDOT’s mechanical removal equipment including their use of the ice breaker and underbody to remove ice and compaction.

Technology and sustainability
Joe Huneke, MNDOT
Recent updates to MnDOT RWIS site and the technologies at play with AVL, MDSS, and weather forecasting.

Tools to reduce chlorides from ordinances to training
Brooke Asleson, MPCA
Update about the tools the MPCA and other organizations have developed to reduce chloride pollution. Model contracts, model policies, 4-state certification training programs, and the all new statewide chloride management plan.

Premier medical clinic now has premier grounds crew
Nick Queensland, Mayo Clinic
Recent major steps Mayo Clinic has taken to reduce their salt use while maintaining a high level of safety.

Winter operations across the pond: lessons learned from the United Kingdom
Matt Morreim, City of St. Paul
Recap of the big takeaways in winter maintenance from the “UK conference”

Recent, in progress, and future research on salt pathways, pavements, water softening, and all things chloride
Andy Erickson, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
Recent publications as well as current and future research at the University of Minnesota centered around chloride.

Bringing brine to the front lines
Phil Gaebler, City of Madison, WI
Efforts made by the City of Madison to increase and improve the use of brine application in winter maintenance.

DLA and clear roads
James Hughes, WisDOT
Update on a direct liquid application experiment and upcoming clear roads research. 


If you would like to register a group of participants from one organization without submitting an individual registration for each person, you may contact Alex Van Loh at or 651-313-5814

  • $0.00


Cancellation Policy: You may change your registration and send a substitute from your organization by notifying us in writing at any time prior to the event without incurring any cancellation or processing fees. Cancellations made on or before 10/17/19 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. Cancellations made after 10/17/19 will be refunded minus a $100 per person cancellation fee. Participants that registered but neither attended nor cancelled on or before 10/24/19 will be charged the full registration fee.

Media Policy: Unless you specifically advise us otherwise in writing, by attending this event you authorize Freshwater Society to use your name, likeness, image, attributed quotations, or other identifying indicia acquired or received in connection with your participation, in Freshwater’s future promotional efforts and related activities.

Lodging: Coming from out of town and need a place to stay? Jimmy's Event Center is conveniently connected to a Holiday Inn Express and Suites.

Questions about the Symposium?
Contact Alex Van Loh by email or at 651-313-5814



Thanks to our sponsors:


Interested in sponsoring?
Contact Mary Salisbury by email or 651-313-5817.


18th Road Salt Symposium: February 2019

Despite the all-too-appropriate snowy conditions, attendees of the annual Road Salt Symposium came together to explore current research and innovative best practices for use of road salt that ensure protection of our natural resources and our communities. Participants came away with actionable steps to take to manage and reduce chloride use in their own communities - along with plenty of salt puns!

Click the titles below to view speakers' presentations:

Getting the public to see road salt
Annie Baxter - American Public Media; Content Manager, The Water Main

Road salt impacts on water quality in stormwater ponds
Dr. Jacques Finlay - University of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

Salt on I-93: chronicle of a chloride corridor catastrophe
Ted Diers - Watershed Management Bureau Administrator, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Insight on the three times failed limited liability legislation
Sue Nissen - Citizen Volunteer, StopOverSalting(SOS)

MN contract templates for property managers and contractors
Jessica Wilson - Water Resources Coordinator, City of Edina

Chloride rulemaking: Nine Mile Creek Watershed District
Erica Sniegowski - Program and Project Manager, Nine Mile Creek Watershed District

A-salt and battery: limited liability relief in New Hampshire
Ted Diers - Watershed Management Bureau Administrator, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Moving toward a Direct Liquid Application (DLA) Model
William T. Kern, PE - Highway Commissioner, Jefferson County Highway Department, WI

Emergency management = salt reduction strategies
Christine Walsh - APWA 2017 Snow & Ice Presidential award winner; Emergency Preparedness Instructor, Texas A&M

Salt savings from potassium acetate on state routes
Chris Cheney - MnDOT District 1 Maintenance Operations Superintendent
Steve Baublitz - MnDOT District 1 Duluth Subarea Supervisor

Increasing brine usage by modifying standard equipment
Josh Dix - Street Maintenance Foreman, City of Roseville

OPERA: funding for local agencies with research and innovation ideas
Mindy Carlson - Program Director, Minnesota LTAP

Chlorides in winter maintenance: an international perspective
Tina Greenfield - Iowa DOT RWIS coordinator and committee chair

MPCA chloride update
Brooke Asleson - Watershed Project Manager, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Pigeonhole Live Question and Answer Sessions


February 2019 Environmental Leadership Award Winners:

Nine Mile Creek Watershed District: Randy Anhorn, Robert Cutshall, Erica Sniegowski, Erin Hunker, Gael Zembal, Steve Kloiber, Lauren Foley, Jodi Peterson, Grace Sheely

Edina Public Schools: Brent Kaley, Curt Johanson, Eric Hamilton, David White, Greg Pafko, Kai Hauglid, Bryan Horn, Shawn Draves, Kory Smith, Corey Montgomery, Keith Wolfe, TJ Lyman, Norman Vanderlinde, Matt Mosby, Mike Kilanowski, Ron Michaletz, Timothy Myre

MnDOT District 1, Duluth Subarea KAc Project: Steve Baublitz, Chris Cheney, Dennis DeFoe, Jim Cameron, Josiah Davey, Tyson Jackson, Jason McPherson, Shawn Meyer, Ken Kelly, Bob Cheetham, Ron Mattson, Heather Davis, Aaron Benson, John Benson, and Kevin Anderson

Precision Landscaping & Construction Inc.: Joby Nolan, Scott Zuzek, Josh Fox, Bryan Rubin, Aaron Masloski

Dr. Stephen Druschel

StopOverSalting (SOS): Sue Nissen, Randy Holst, Joe Knaeble, Walter Levesque, LouAnn Waddick, Barb Thoman

Read more about this year's winners.

See past winners of Environmental Leadership Awards


Model Snow and
Ice Policy

A Model Snow and Ice Management Policy Advisory Committee was convened in the summer of 2016 in response to an extraordinary interest in risk management expressed by attendees of the February 2016 Road Salt Symposium.

The framework offers a tool for cities and counties to prepare clear and complete snow and ice management policies and to help them limit the potential liability risk from these activities. Snow and ice management requires balancing public interests including public safety, equipment and material cost, environmental impact, and other concerns. The law governing public operations largely protects cities and counties from liability, in recognition of the fact that these local units must exercise judgment based on expertise, experience, and the circumstances of the occasion. The law says, however, that to merit this protection, a city or county must be able to show that competing public concerns are in play, that these concerns have been weighed, and that judgment was used in making both policy and operational decisions. The Model Policy is a tool for cities and counties to establish this foundation for their snow and ice management policies and practices.

Cities, counties, and other users of this Model Policy are encouraged to adapt and modify the Policy as appropriate to local circumstances with guidance from their respective attorneys.

Draft guidance doc

Draft contract

Draft policy and cover letter

Thanks to the following organizations that supported development of this policy: