The City does not have a bylaw that governs the use of salt on roadways/sidewalks, but we do have a salt management plan.
In 2001 Environment Canada and Health Canada proposed that road salts be considered *toxic* and added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. This has yet to happen, however following a two year consultation process the Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts (Code of Practice) was released in 2004, which is a voluntary salt management program for road authorities using more than 500 tonnes/yr of road salts or applying salts near vulnerable ecosystems.
Recognizing its responsibility to the environment, the City of Toronto is taking positive actions towards implementing salt management practices like those developed by Environment Canada and the Transportation Association of Canada that allow it to effectively manage the salt used in winter maintenance, provide the public with the safe and efficient road systems they expect, and minimize effects on the environment.
In fact in 2001, the City of Toronto became the first major municipality to develop a Salt Management Plan and has been working with Environment Canada as part of a multi-stakeholder working group. Since there are no cost effective alternatives to road salt at this time, technology has been introduced to allow vehicles operators to apply just the right amount of salt to the roadway surface in order to achieve effective de icing. In addition, pre-wetting technology is being phased in over the next few years which allow salt truck operators to apply a brine solution to the coarse rock immediately prior to spreading on the road network. This application of salt brine causes faster de-icing, thereby potentially reducing the volume of rock slat required to achieve safe conditions by as much as 15%.
A summary of the City's Salt Management Plan is available at: http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/snow/salt.htm
As I said above it is my understanding that the City of Toronto does not currently have a bylaw that governs the use of salt. We do however have a bylaw that requires property owners, in locations where the City does not provide a sidewalk snow clearing service, remain responsible to:
clear the adjacent public sidewalk of snow and ice and keep it in a safe condition; and ensure that snow and ice is not deposited from the private property onto the public street, lane or sidewalks.
Constituency Assistant to
Councillor Gord Perks
Ward 14, Parkdale - High Park
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Suite A14
Toronto, M5H 2N2
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