Best Practices for Road Weather Management Version 2.0
Is Highway Runoff a Serious Problem?
Highway runoff is generally not harmful. The FHWA encourages all jurisdictions to learn about highway runoff and its properties before implementing any strategies for its control. Given that no runoff waters are the same, a one-size-fit all approach could result in spending funds for unnecessary or inappropriate treatment. Deicing chemicals are essential to the safe transportation and they benefit millions of residents living in the northern portions of the United States. Only when applied heavily and frequently, deicing chemicals can pollute receiving waters, but the degree of their damage largely depends on the type and designated use of the receiving water, and on the drainage system used to discharge the runoff. Deicing chemicals are often combined with other substances to prevent caking or inhibit corrosion. These substances may be toxic to human, animal, and fish life.
FHWA Environmental Technology Brief
FHWA Office of Infrastructure R&D and Office of Environment and Planning
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