2023 - 8th Salt Summit
The 8th Annual Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit was held on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at the Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center in Lake George Village.
Welcome to the 2023 Salt Summit
Eric Siy, President, Lake George Association, and Lake George Village Mayor Ray Perry kick off the 8th annual event, citing how smarter road salt use cuts costs without sacrificing road safety — a win-win-win endeavor.
Snow Fighters Salt and Sand Reduction Success Stories
- Deb Donahue, Superintendent, shares the learnings and successes realized by implementing practices of the Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative in Washington County, NY.
- Mike Farrell from the Town of Peru, NY, reveals what the first year of implementing reduced road salt practices has meant for his town, including reduced manpower hours.
- Deb, Mike, and their teams receive SWiM® Certification Awards.
- The LGA awards a Road Salt Reduction Grant to the Town of Lake George, represented by Rob Lanfear, Town of Lake George Highway Superintendent; Dennis Dickinson, Town of Lake George Supervisor; and Vincent Crocitto, Town of Lake George Deputy Supervisor.
Adirondack Road Salt Task Force Panel Discussion
This lively discussion focused on prioritization of the recently released Task Force Report and the best ways to move forward. Participants include NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar; NYSDOT Representative Rob Fitch, P.E., Division of Transportation Maintenance; Kevin Hajos, P.E., Superintendent, Warren County DPW, Second Vice President, NYSCHSA; Gerald Delaney, Sr., Executive Director, Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board; Phill Sexton, CEO, WIT Advisers; A.J. Smith, PhD, Research Scientist/Program Manager, NYSDEC
The Effects of Road Salt on Groundwater
The number-one contaminant in New Hampshire is salt—more than all others combined, including PFAS. James Emery, P.G., Principal at Emery & Garrett Groundwater Investigations, Meredith, NH, makes a compelling case for reducing road salt by sharing the story of Merrimack, NH, where the amount of salt in the town's drinking water skyrocketed, causing the town to spend millions to shut down wells.
Innovative Surface Solutions, Deicing Depot, Winter angled plow blades
Live Demonstrations by Suppliers
Innovative Surface Solutions, Deicing Depot, Granite State De-Icing Supply
Engaging Stakeholders and Businesses in Road Salt Reduction
How do we build awareness of the danger of road salt? How do we engage the community in supporting and taking part in the solution to reducing road salt? Presenters are Erin Stretz, Assistant Director of Science & Stewardship, The Watershed Institute (NJ); Kelley Tucker, Executive Director, Ausable River Association; Sawyer Bailey, Executive Director, ADKAction
Chris Navitsky, Lake George Waterkeeper and coordinator of the event, shares his takeaways from the day's discussions, including: don't fear failure, communicate with and educate the public, take action now, and real money savings can be realized.
2022 - 7th Salt Summit
For nearly a decade, the Lake George Association, the preeminent protector of The Queen of
American Lakes, has combined community partnerships, technological innovation and direct
investment to create a model for road salt protection that can be applied in communities
worldwide to protect our waterbodies and drinking water wells, as well as the wallets of the
taxpayers, businesses and organizations that buy it.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, we were proud to share our road map to road salt reduction
success, and bring together leading winter management experts, scientists, municipalities and
the private sector in a collaborative effort to further these efforts, at our 7 th Annual Adirondack
Champlain Regional Salt Summit at the beautiful Fort William Henry Hotel on Lake George
We are pleased to present recordings and slides of the Summit presentations below
Jefferson Project Update
Dr. Jonathan Borrelli of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute provides an overview of the chloride-related research on Lake George by The Jefferson Project collaboration between RPI, IBM Research and the LGA.
Impacts of Salt Storage in the Lake George Watershed
Brea Arvidson, manager of water quality research for the LGA, presents a look at the science related to salt storage.
The Art of Water Quality
Dr. Michale Glennon of Paul Smith’s College provides an innovative look at her innovative work depicting water quality data through knitting and crochet.
The Evolution & Economics of the Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative
LGA President Eric Siy explains why road salt reduction is a “win-win-win” for the Lake George region and a model for salt-reduction efforts worldwide.
Update on the Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative
This engaging and inspiring panel discussion looks at the road salt reduction success stories being written in five municipalities and one of the Lake George region’s leading hospitality businesses.
Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership
Sawyer Cressup, executive director of Adirondack Action, talks about the successful efforts to reduce road salt use along 125-mile-long Lake Champlain.
The LGA’s Salt Summit would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. In these brief presentations, you’ll learn how Deicing Depot, Metal Pless, and Innovative Surface Solutions are making road salt reduction possible for municipalities and businesses.
Join us outside the meeting room to see some of the latest salt-reduction technologies in action.
Keynote Address: Strengthening Clean Water Laws
Just days before the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Marc Yaggi, CEO of the international Waterkeeper Alliance and one of the world’s foremost authorities on clean water, provides an insightful look at why global and local water clean laws need strengthening.
Road Salt Issues & Concerns Facing the Adirondack Park
With thousands of miles of roads to maintain – and waterbodies to protect -- across the wintry
Adirondack Park, the challenges are great. In this informative panel discussion, you’ll hear from noted environmental attorney and Park advocate Bob Kafin; Hamilton County DPW Superintendent Tracy Eldridge; Adirondack Council Clean Water Program Coordinator Dave Miller; and Phill Sexton, founder and managing director of WIT advisors.
New York State Clear Roads Project
Joe Thompson, senior transportation analyst for the New York State Department of Transportation provides a look at the Clear Roads Project, which uses GIS to highlight highway segments sensitive to deicing materials.
Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky of the LGA, coordinator of all seven Salt Summits, wraps up the day with a recap of what we learned.
2021 - 6th Annual Salt Summit
The 6th Annual Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit was held on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at the Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center in Lake George Village.
Kathy Flacke Muncil, CEO of the Fort William Henry Corp. and Chair of the LGA’s Council of Business Advisors opened the Summit with a call for the entire community to “hold hands together” to protect Lake George for generations to come. Rachel Seeber, Chair of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, welcomed attendees to the Summit and praised local municipalities’ success in reducing road salt use and saving taxpayers’ money.
Update on Environmental Monitoring Program
Jim Sutherland, Ph.D., longtime science consultant to the LGA, provided an overview of the water quality sampling program he and Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky have implemented to continuously monitor the impacts the New York State Department of Transportation’s Rt. 9N pilot salt-reduction program is having on nearby tributaries.
Salt in the Streams: Chloride in Lake George Tributaries
Joel Harrison, Ph.D., a research scientist at RPI’s Darrin Fresh Water Institute and member of The Jefferson Project scientific team, reported on a monitoring program at 11 Lake George tributaries. Among the findings: Hague Brook had the most statistically significant declining trend in chloride concentrations of the tributaries, with an average 4% per year reduction between 2016 and 2020. The LGA finds this particularly noteworthy given that the Town of Hague Highway Department has led the way in salt reduction in the watershed during that time. Dr. Harrison also reported that the highest chloride concentrations are found in those tributaries that are near the greatest amount of impervious surface (roads, parking lots, etc.), and that concentrations are higher during dry conditions (such as in late summer), when most of the stream flow is fed by groundwater; this suggests that the groundwater has become enriched in chloride.
Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative Update
The Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative success story was presented by Tim Fiallo of the Town of Hague Highway Department, Town of Lake George Highway Superintendent Rob Lanfear and Town Winter Management Specialist Rob Vopleus, along with Raqib Omer, founder and CEO of Viaesys, a key technology provider to the Initiative. Tim Fiallo spoke with pride and passion about Hague’s success in reducing road salt use from 1,600 tons per year during the winter of 2016-17 to 550 tons last year by pre-treating roads with brine to minimize ice build-up, and by using live-edge plows for a “closer shave.” Now, he said, “We’re ready to take it to the next level.” The Town of Lake George contingent spoke with equal enthusiasm about their achievements and commitment to continuous improvement for the betterment of the Lake and taxpayers’ wallets, echoing Rob Vopleu’s mantra of, “Our sweat is your equity.”
Road to the Salt Summit
Rob Fitch, Director of the Office of Transportation Management for the New York State Department of Transportation, and Josh Rousseau, Deputy Chief of Staff at NYSDOT, provided an overview of salt-reduction pilot projects the state is conducting in the Lake George and Lake Placid regions.
Leading Edge Sponsors Presentations
In this session, our Leading Edge sponsors were given an opportunity to introduce their products and services to Summit attendees. Representing Voigt-Smith Innovation was Tim Slocum, president of T. Slocum, Inc., the New England dealer for Voigt-Smith. Representing Innovative Surface Solutions was Regional Sales Manager Joe Cashin.
Salt Summit Remarks
New York State Sen. Dan Stec spoke about the importance of road salt reduction, particularly as it relates to safeguarding private drinking water wells. Nothing the cost in dollars, as well as environmental harm, the Senator said, “It breaks your heart, driving down the Northway, to see road salt bouncing” off the pavement and onto the side of the road where it rolls into streams or infiltrates groundwater.
Keynote: Changing the Culture of Salt
Ted Diers, a nationally recognized road salt reduction expert with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, said road salt use is “inherently a people problem,” with many having unrealistic expectations for how well snow and ice must be removed from roads and walkways. “When did it become OK for a sidewalk to crunch,” he asked. “Why do we have so much stinking salt going down on sidewalks and our parking lots?”
Ted’s presentation focused on New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation law that assumes people take inherent risks when traveling by car or foot during the winter, and provides limited protections to winter management contractors who become certified through a state program, much like protections that are awarded to ski centers in the event of a skiing accident. He also had high praise for the commitment demonstrated by all of the Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative’s public- and private-sector participants. “I believe you are truly unique in the way you have joined together around a single resource that everyone loves. I don’t know of any other place on the planet where it’s happening just like this.”
Panel: Release of Liability: A Concern?
A limited liability panel discussion followed the keynote, with Ted Diers; Vinnie Crocitto, owner of the Holiday Inn Resort-Lake George; and Jeremie MacEwan of MacEwan Land Care in Bolton Landing.
The Salt Mitigation Task Force 2021
The University of Vermont Salt Reduction Task Force detailed the toll road salt is taking on the buildings, infrastructure and streams on its 600-acre campus, and the changes they are making in the way they manage winter storms.
Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership
Brittany Christenson, executive director of ADK Action, provided a preview of its new “Clean Water, Safe Roads Partnership,” which had its roots in a pledge to reduce road salt signed by municipalities throughout the Adirondack Park, much like the start of the Lake George Road Salt Reduction Initiative.
Summit Closing Remarks
Lake George Waterkeeper and Summit organizer Chris Navitsky wraps up the Summit by recapping the key lessons learned.
2019 - 5th Annual Salt Summit
Expanding Application of the Model and Adapting to Changes with the Weather
The Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit was held on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, New York. Presentations are below.
Setting the Stage for Today
Dan Stec, NYS Assembly, District 114
Eric Siy, The FUND for Lake George
Raqib Omer, Viaesys
Rob Vopleus, Town of Lake George Highway Dept.
Matt Coffin, Town of Hague Highway Dept.
Steve Johnson, Warren County DPW
2018 - 4th Annual Salt Summit
The Business of Reducing the Use of Road Salt
The 4th Annual Salt Summit was hosted in Lake George on October 3, 2018. Presentations are below.
2017 - 3rd Annual Salt Summit
Best Practices for Reducing Salt Use — See Leading Edge Technology and New Equipment in Action!
The 3rd Annual Salt Summit was hosted in Ticonderoga on October 5th, 2017. Presentations are below.
Chris Navitsky PE, Lake George Waterkeeper
Supervisor Joe Giordano, Town of Ticonderoga
Step One: Measure
Trajectories of Salinization and Recovery from Road Salting for Soils and Streams Tributary to Lake George
Jim Sutherland, Ph.D., The FUND for Lake George Council of Science Advisors
Update on Lake George Salt Initiative – Year 1 Results
Raqib Omer, CEO, Viaesys
Establishing an Adaptable Model: Full Implementation of Best Practices Agreement Basin-Wide
Phill Sexton, WIT Advisers
Nate Clemmer, CEO, SynaTek
2016 - 2nd Annual Salt Summit
2015 - Save the Lake Salt Summit
The First Annual Save the Lake Salt Summit was held on September 28, 2015 at the Sagamore Resort. Presentations are below.