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Road Salt An Environmental Concern For Plowed Snow

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Road salt can raise the salinity of rivers, streams and creeks.
Rebecca Sheir
Road salt can raise the salinity of rivers, streams and creeks.

BALTIMORE (AP) Mountains of grimy snow piled in parking lots aren't the prettiest sight for East Coast communities, but experts say that's less toxic to the environment than dumping it into rivers, streams and creeks.

The Environmental Protection Agency doesn't have specific regulations for snow disposal.

But Jay Apperson, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, says they prefer parks or other large open spaces where gradual melting can allow the water to filter slowly into the ground.

Dumping snow into brackish waterways like the Chesapeake Bay also isn't a bad solution, but not in fresh water.

While road salt can raise the salinity of rivers, streams and creeks, the bay is already salty and the snow shouldn't have much of an impact.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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