Road salts assessment: inorganic chloride salts with or without ferrocyanide salts

The Assessment Report for Road Salts was published on December 1, 2001. The road salts assessment covered the chloride salts: sodium chloride (NaCl), calcium chloride (CaCl2), magnesium chloride (MgCl2), potassium chloride (KCl), brines used in road deicing/anti-icing, dust suppression, the salt portion of abrasive mixtures and additives commonly used in road salts (ferrocyanides).

This comprehensive five-year scientific assessment by Environment Canada and Health Canada determined that, in sufficient concentrations, road salts pose a risk to plants, animals and the aquatic environment. Therefore, it is concluded that road salts that contain inorganic chloride salts with or without ferrocyanide salts meet the criteria set out in paragraphs 64(a) and (b) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999).

Road salts that contain inorganic chloride salts with or without ferrocyanide salts (PDF 1.197 MB, go to page 5)

Road salts have not been added to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999. The Government of Canada published the Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts on April 3, 2004. The Code of Practice is designed to help municipalities and other road authorities better manage their use of road salts in a way that reduces any harm road salts may cause to the environment while maintaining road safety.

The Code of Practice was developed in consultation with the Multistakeholder Working Group for Road Salts. It recommends that road authorities prepare salt management plans that identify the actions they will take to improve their practices in salt storage, general use on roads and snow disposal.

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