The U.S.’ Addiction to Road Salt is Out of Control. These Cities are Trying to Cut Back

Officials are also trying to make it easier for road crews to cut back on salt. Minnesota is a leader here. Since 2016, the state has run a “smart salting” program to train public road crews and private maintenance workers to apply salt without wasting any, helping organizations cut their usage by between 30% and 70% per the state pollution control agency. Minnesota also has policies limiting the deployment of salt on residential streets, like Davenport is trialing. The state’s legislature is now considering a bill that would protect professional salt-appliers and homeowners from legal liability for accidents if they use too little—a factor advocates say has prevented people from using salt sparingly in the past.