The effects of deicers on environmental resources are varied and complex. The impacts to sensitive species, protected resources, and human exposure are important factors when considering the appropriate use of deicers on roadways and must be balanced with public safety and expectations. With the difficulty in identifying environmentally sensitive corridors, states are unable to assign the proper equipment and apply chemicals at the appropriate rates to avoid further environmental degradation of both surface and ground water with chloride and sodium.
The goal of this project is to improve operational planning to help agencies identify the roadway segments where vulnerable environmental resources may be impacted by snow and ice control activities.
This project will develop a geospatial tool that incorporates data about roadways, topography, hydrology, and ecology to model the impact of de-icing chemical application on the local environment. This information can then be used by maintenance personnel to adjust material application to balance mobility and environmental concerns.