Warren County, Town of Hague Earn Sustainable Winter Management Certification for Success in Reducing Road Salt Use While Maintaining Safe Driving Conditions

October 4, 2019

This announcement was published prior to the merger of the LGA with The FUND for Lake George in June 2021.

Warren County, Town of Hague Earn Sustainable Winter Management Certification for Success in Reducing Road Salt Use While Maintaining Safe Driving Conditions

Warren County and the Town of Hague have earned the Sustainable Winter Management (SWiM®) Program certification for reducing the use of road salt — and its runoff into Lake George and other waterways — while maintaining safe driving conditions.

The certifications were presented on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit, organized by The FUND for Lake George, Lake George Waterkeeper, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, AdkAction and the Ausable River Association. This year’s Summit drew a record crowd of approximately 150 government, business, scientific and not-for-profit representatives to the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid for presentations on the latest methods and equipment for safe road salt reduction, and strategies for adapting winter road management practices to changing weather patterns.

The FUND receiving certification at the the Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit 2019
Group receiving certification at the Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit 2019

Warren County and the Town of Hague are part of the highly successful Lake George Salt Reduction Initiative coordinated by The FUND for Lake George — the most advanced such effort in North America. The FUND has identified road salt runoff as one of the greatest threats to the water quality of the Lake and other area waterways.

The SWiM® certification was developed and is administered by winter management consulting firm WIT Advisers, LLC, of Delanson, NY. In 2018, the Town of Lake George became the first municipality in North America to earn the certification.

Warren County and the Town of Hague earned their SWiM® certifications based on their proven abilities to use real-time data and photographic evidence to monitor, measure, self-assess and adjust their winter road maintenance procedures to keep the roads as clear as possible while minimizing the use of salt.

Among the best practice techniques used by the County and Town are applying pre-coatings of liquid brine on roads in advance of winter storms to minimize ice buildup; using special “live edge” plows to remove snow closer to the road surface; and equipping their plow trucks with technologies that calibrate and track road salt application and monitor road conditions.

Eric Siy, executive director of The FUND for Lake George, said, “Thanks in large part to the leadership and investment of Warren County and The Town of Hague, and the diligent work of their highway departments, the Lake George Salt Reduction Initiative has become a national model for protecting waterways against the consequences of road salt runoff. The success these municipalities are having is also helping inspire others from both the public and private sectors to step forward and learn how they can play a role, as evidenced by the tremendous attendance at this year’s Summit.”

Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky said, “These certifications are a testament to the dedication of the County and Town plow truck operators who have really embraced this Initiative and are proud of the direct role they play in keeping road salt out of Lake George while making sure our roads remain safe for driving. Their ability to self-assess their performance and strive for continuous improvement will make a big difference in the long-term health of the Lake.”

Matt Simpson, chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee and supervisor of the Town of Horicon, said, “Warren County’s highway crews are making great strides in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our salt use, with the safety of travelers and the health of our environment in mind. We are thrilled to have earned this certification and proud to be part of the collaborative effort between The FUND for Lake George, the county and its municipalities, and private-sector businesses to keep our Lake clear and clean.”

Hague Supervisor Edna Frasier said, “I am extremely proud of our Highway Department and how diligently they have worked to earn this certification. Deputy Highway Superintendent Matt Coffin has spearheaded our efforts and inspired our team to make salt-reduction a priority while keeping our roads safe. It’s wonderful to know that we are doing our part to protect the Lake.”

Phill Sexton, CEO of WIT Advisers, which administers the SWiM®  Program, said, “Best practices in sustainable winter management enable public and private sector property owners to reduce risks from traffic accidents and slips and falls, lower their costs and minimize the environmental impacts of road salt use. The interest in this program among municipalities and businesses across the Adirondack Region is growing each year, and that’s great news for everyone who lives or visits here.”