Jun 9, 2021 1:12:47 PM / Brooke Loeffler /

Snow Fighting Sheds: Protecting Air Quality

We all benefit from lower air pollution and each industry can take a few simple steps to help us all reach the goal of cleaner air. Let’s take a look at what snowfighting fleets and shed managers can do to help improve the air quality in their local communities.

Snow Fighting Sheds: Protecting Air Quality

Choose The Right Road Products

Switching to water soluble road deicers, instead of sand and gravel, can improve your local air quality. Non soluble road aggregates, like sand and gravel, are not deicers, but are sometimes used to try and improve road traction. Unfortunately, sand and gravel greatly increase the amount of dust and particulate matter (PM) dispersed into the air every time they are transported, applied to roadways, or driven over.

Click here to learn more about PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollution.

sand and gravel are not deicers and pollute air and waterways

Sand and gravel are sometimes incorrectly touted as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical deicers. Unfortunately, road aggregates wreak havoc on waterway health and air quality and are expensive to clean up.

Colorado

According to The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT):

  • “Sand used for snow and ice control increases air pollution and contributes approximately 45% of the small particulates present in air.”
  • “The use of sand for snow and ice control has played a major role in the deterioration of the air quality in many areas of the U.S...The high levels of particulates in the air from the use of sand during winter months has affected the air quality in the Denver metropolitan area and resulted in classification of Denver as a moderate non-attainment area.”
  • “The percent of total PM10 emissions from road dust increases from between 50% to 90% during the 24-hour period following road sanding.”

From fiscal year 1995-2000, Colorado cut back sand usage by 86,000 tons and greatly improved their air quality by reducing particulate matter pollution. The city of Englewood, Colorado is also proposing eliminating sand and switching to Ice Slicer to improve their local air quality...click here to learn more! Reducing road aggregate usage has also helped Utah with their clean air compliance.

Product Management and Storage

Properly storing and caring for road treatment stockpiles can also improve your local air quality.

  • Avoid moving or handling leftover product piles unnecessarily
  • Store leftover product piles within warehouses or 3-sided sheds to contain particulates during windy conditions
  • Click here to learn more about storing leftover product

Shed with stockpiles of road deicing treatments

Equipment Maintenance

Conducting routine maintenance on fleet vehicles will keep them running smoothly and also reduce pollution.

  • Stay up to date on smog and emissions checks for all vehicles (including vehicles used on site)
  • Rotate non-compliant vehicles out of use until they can be repaired to meet emissions standards
  • Click here for a few helpful tips about caring for your snow fighting equipment during the off-season
  • Calibrate your dispensing equipment before winter returns to avoid over-using road treatment products

Take Advantage of Clean Fuel Incentives

Every single state (and the District of Columbia) offer multiple incentives to convert fleet vehicles to cleaner burning fuels (ie. biofuel, natural gas, hydrogen, etc.). Click here to see which incentives are offered in your state!

These incentives include:

  • Grants
  • Rebates
  • Exemptions (waves taxes and fees associated with registration, road usage, HOV charges, weights, etc.) 
  • Other incentives (see specific state to learn more)

Ice Slicer Environmental Responsibility

Ice Slicer is proud of our partnership with snow fighting fleets and sheds all across the country. We strive to offer high performing, environmentally friendly deicing products to give snow fighters the very best tools possible. Our all natural deicing minerals only contain 6-8% insoluble material, so you can clear roads, reduce your PM levels, and avoid expensive post-winter clean up. And of course, thank you to all of our first, first responders out there who keep us safe all winter long!