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Why Winter Roads Need a Low-Salt Diet

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“Let it snow” may be a charming sentiment when you can stay home with a cup of hot cocoa, but when you have to get somewhere, or for the trucks that haul critical supplies, clear roads make the journey safer.

For those who have to hit the highways, road salt is, literally, a lifesaver.

PHOTOS: Wild Winter Weather

The problem is, the more than 22 million tons of road salt used nationwide each year don’t just disappear after the snow melts. And evidence is growing that the salt concentration of streams, lakes and groundwater is steadily increasing. Salt levels in some places are high enough to harm roadside plants and aquatic life. But lately, many agencies are using alternative chemicals and new technologies that allow less salt to be used Read more…

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