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The Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports du Québec Develops New Charter to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Road Salt

The Quebec Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transportation Electrification (Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports, hereinafter MTMDET) is responsible for the winter maintenance of an extensive road network. In Quebec, local roads (107,000 km) are under municipal jurisdiction, while the MTMDET is responsible for all provincial roads and highways (31,000 km).

The larger part (66%) of the provincial road network is maintained by private sector companies. The rest is maintained by the MTMDET (20%) and municipalities
(14%).

Each year, the MTMDET uses over 800,000 tonnes of de-icing agent on its road network in the winter months, which has a considerable negative impact to varying degrees on nearby flora and fauna, water quality, soil quality and infrastructure. Water quality tests conducted in several lakes close to urban areas across the province of Quebec has shown that, in certain locations, chloride concentrations are steadily increasing. And in a few locations, these concentrations have surpassed the chronic toxicity threshold for aquatic life.

Considering that sodium chloride’s impact on the environment and on roadway infrastructures is well documented, the responsible use and management of this product is of primordial importance.

Author

Sylvain Noël

Session title

2018 TAC Environmental Achievement Award

Organizers

Environment Council

Category

Environment

Year

2018

Format

Paper

File