Maine Public interviews Rubin about reducing road salt use

Maine Public spoke with Jonathan Rubin, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and professor of resource economics and policy at the University of Maine, for a report about reducing road salt use in the state. “The key is to be smarter about this and use less by better management,” said Rubin, who was the lead author of a 2010 report detailing road salt use in the state. “The Maine DOT is doing a good job in terms of educating, but they only control certain Maine state roads. There’s huge amounts of salt used on the municipal level and town level, and it’s really about getting the best practices out to all the towns and contractors to reduce salt to the bare minimum that’s necessary for our clear roads.” In addition to cleaner water, Rubin said there are financial incentives to strategically using road salt. He said the annual road salt price tag for the DOT, Maine Turnpike Authority, and the state’s municipalities comes in at just under $100 million.