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File #: 140082    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 2/6/2014 In control: Committee on Streets and Services
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Authorizing the Committee on Streets and Services to hold public hearings to better understand and analyze the use of the compounds commonly called "rock salt" by the Streets Department and Philadelphia citizens to melt ice and snow and determine whether alternatives and additives can make this material and effort safer and more efficient.
Sponsors: Councilmember Kenney, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Goode, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember O'Brien, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Reynolds Brown
Attachments: 1. Signature14008200.pdf
Title
Authorizing the Committee on Streets and Services to hold public hearings to better understand and analyze the use of the compounds commonly called "rock salt" by the Streets Department and Philadelphia citizens to melt ice and snow and determine whether alternatives and additives can make this material and effort safer and more efficient.

Body
WHEREAS, Rock salt is the most commonly used material to melt ice and snow on our City streets and sidewalks. Since the 1940's, rock salt has been used to clear frozen precipitation from the ever-expanding highway and road system in the United States. An estimated 15 million tons of rock salt is used every year for this purpose nationally; and

WHEREAS, The most prevalent compounds in use, Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Potassium Chloride (KCl), and Calcium Chloride (CaCl) have known corrosive effects, and can do damage to roads, vehicles, underground utilities and even roadside property through the misting effect; and

WHEREAS, Rock salt is also extremely dangerous for pets and other animals. When ingested by animals, the rock salt can cause liver and kidney failure, pancreatitis, and depending on the amount ingested, can lead to death. Also, even small amounts of rock salt can be stuck in animal paws and fur, causing extreme discomfort and irritation; and

WHEREAS, Heavy usage of rock salt has damaging effects on the environment. Almost all melting minerals find their way into the waterways, whether through run-off or soil and groundwater. Higher chloride levels in water have a deleterious effect on fish and other aquatic life, and this denser water also sinks to the bottom of the waterway, reducing water circulation and further deteriorating the ecosystem. High sodium levels in drinking water are also dangerous, and can be a concern for people on a restricted-sodium diet; and

WHEREAS, Technological advances have made rock salt dispensing and road de-icing much more efficient. PennDot is using computers on ...

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