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Road salt conference is Sept. 16

Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Updated: 5:11 PM

PAUL SMITHS -- Salt contamination of streams, watersheds and aquifers from aggressive use of salt in winter road maintenance has become a major threat to the ecology of the Adirondacks, local advocates warn.

Finding ways to minimize or avoid that threat while keeping roads safe is the goal of the third annual Adirondack Winter Road Maintenance Conference, which will explore alternatives to current road salting and clearing policies at Paul Smith's College Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

" and the Adirondack Council invite the public to join us for an update on progress made since the last conference in 2012," said Lee Keet, water quality chair of "After this conference we will make additional recommendations for action to curb this growing problem."

"Some of the Adirondack Park's best research scientists have been studying the road salt problem and its impact on the health of the park's environment and our communities," said William C. Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council. "Road salt takes a toll on roads, bridges, fish, wildlife, aquatic plants, roadside trees, wild flowers and water quality. We need to implement workable alternatives that keep roads safe and water clean."

Seminal studies presented at the first road salt conference in 2010 documented the impact current winter road maintenance procedures are having on Adirondack groundwater.

A second (2012) study authored by Dr. Dan Kelting of the Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute was presented at the second conference and then published in peer-reviewed journals. It demonstrated that 86 percent of the sodium and chloride buildup in Adirondack Park watersheds can be directly attributed to current New York state road salting policies.

The event is free and open to everyone, but attendance is limited to registered guests. The conference, coffee breaks and lunch are being underwritten by the Adirondack Council and

Those who wish to attend can register at


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