by LIZZY BLACKMON
DULUTH, Minn. - A resident asked the City Council on Monday to reconsider approving a motion to authorize road salt budget because of its effects on the environment but it was approved despite questions.
Linda Ross Sellner spoke to the council on the effects of street salt on rivers and streams. She is researching the watershed delineation of impervious surface impact to Duluth streams.
"We need to reevaluate the use of road salt," Sellner said. Her research is on how the salt affects the number of trout in local streams.
The salt erodes the streams and the plants that grow along the bank then die as well, she said. This erosion contributes to the high salt content of the water because the salt washed directly into the water.
A University of Minnesota study shows that 70 percent of this salt goes into the stream and water sources, Sellner said.
Sellner pointed out that though Duluth needs to keep roads safe in winter, there are other alternatives. These alternatives include using brine water, avoiding salt use below 15 degrees, changing plowing and salting methods, and reducing the amount of salt used.
"The whole road maintenance team is looking at this," Councilor Kerry Gauthier said. He will follow up with looking at more options.