AP quotes Rubin in report on road salt threatening US waters

Jonathan Rubin, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and professor of resource economics and policy at the University of Maine, spoke with the Associated Press for an article about how road salt is threatening waters in the United States. For decades, salt has been the cheapest and most effective way to cut down on traffic accidents during winter storms, according to the article. But researchers cite mounting evidence that those tons of sodium chloride crystals are increasing the salinity of hundreds of lakes, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, putting everything from fish and frogs to microscopic zooplankton at risk, the article states. “Adding salt to the environment does have negative impacts, but for those of us in the Northeast, especially in rural states, where driving is the predominant way of getting around, we need mobility,” said Rubin, lead author of a 2010 report on the cost and benefits of salting Maine roads. “In my opinion, we are always going to be using some degree of road salt,” he said. “The question is, can we use less?” ABC News and Chicago Tribune carried the AP report. CBS News Radio also interviewed Rubin about road salt and its environmental effects.