Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference Papers“EVAP” PROJECT



In 1999, under the terms of the Canadian Environmental Enhancement Protection Act (CEPA), salt was declared harmful to the environment. Salt was declared a “High Priority” substance and was being considered as a potential “Toxic” substance. Although, the federal government has stayed away from classifying salt as toxic, this meant more attention and focus was now expected by road authorities and regulatory agencies on its management. All road authorities use salt for snow/ice control, so this declaration had a significant impact on regulatory agencies in assessing salt management practices and salt brine disposal. Currently, there is no combined environmentally friendly and cost effective disposal method for salt brine. Salt brine, collected in specialized containment systems or in lined ponds, will eventually require disposal. Given our climate, evaporation ponds do not function with any great effectiveness. Approved disposal methods such as down-hole injection are very costly. Environmental agencies are applying more energy and resources to monitoring sites used for sand/salt storage, especially those in close proximity to an Environmental Sensitive Areas (ESA) or drinking water supply. The legislation that defines what constitutes a harmful substance or an ESA is open-ended and allows a good deal of flexibility in the assessment of each. It seems inevitable that wash water from cleansing of plow trucks and/or disposal of brine collected in ponds will not be permitted through municipal sewer systems, in road building or dust suppression operations. Manifests may be necessary as a matter of “due diligence”. Dilution may be a solution today but arguably not in the near future. Release of salt contaminated water off site will be prohibited and could well prompt environmental enforcement and legal action. The increased awareness and focus on salt by both federal and provincial entities and the progression to tighter controls on the usage and disposal of salt laden materials prompted us to look at developing a functional and environmentally friendly disposal method for salt brine, thus commenced project “EVAP”.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Environmental issues, Environmental legislation