Government of New Brunswick
Background

Large volumes of salt and salted sand are stored throughout the Province for use on highways during the winter season. Improper storage and handling of these bulk materials can lead to ground water and surface water contamination.

The Department of Environment, "Salt Storage Guideline" defines appropriate siting locations, and details the construction and operation requirements of these facilities. This Guideline is currently a internal DRAFT document, and is referred to by NB ENV staff when dealing with salt storage issues.

 

Definitions

The following terms are defined for clarification purposes;

  • "Salt"
    sodium chloride, calcium chloride, potash tailings and/or salted sand;
  • "Source"
    The Clean Environment Act, defines "source of contaminant" as any activity or any real or personal property that releases or may release a contaminant into or upon the environment or any part of the environment and includes a danger of pollution;
  • "Environmentally Sensitive Area"
    An "Environmentally Sensitive Area" in the opinion of the Minister of Environment, is any property or location:

- which is located within a area designated for watershed protection by federal, provincial, or municipal governments,

- where there is the potential for contamination of an existing or future private, municipal, or industrial water supply,

- when referring to this guideline, where there is the potential to cause the conductivity of any receiving water to increase above 250µmho/cm.

 

Requirements

It is important to note, that the construction of salt storage facilities will no longer be permitted in environmentally sensitive areas. Storage facilities already in existence in these sensitive areas may be designated as a "Danger of Pollution" pursuant to Section 4(1) of the Water Quality Regulation, and as such will require an Approval to Operate.

In locations which are not considered "Environmentally Sensitive Areas", salt users requiring less that 50 tonnes of salt or salted sand, may store these materials on a impermeable base such as asphalt, geotextile or other suitable material, providing that the pile is covered with a tarp at all times when not in use. All surplus salt is to be removed from the site at the end of each winter season.

In all other cases the following conditions are required:

Construction and Operation

Salt storage facilities shall be constructed:

  • having an impermeable floor constructed of asphalt, concrete or other suitable material which extends around the buildings exterior and is sloped away from the building to prevent stormwater from entering the structure. The floor is to be graded away from the centre of the storage pile area with a slope of 1-2%.
  • with a bulkhead or inner retention wall designed to protect the outer skin from pressure loading of the material inside, and to absorb the stress of loaders pushing material against the inside walls.
  • using waterproof materials in the construction of the buildings exterior and roof to prevent precipitation and moisture from entering the building.
  • with a suitable cover or door on the entrance.

and be operated such that:

  1. all spillage of salt and salted sand outside the storage building must be cleaned up as soon as possible and placed in the storage building.

  2. all handling of salt and salted sand is to be done within the storage building.

  3. any loose salt material is to be removed from the trucks wheel wells and tailgates prior to leaving the building.
Permit / Approval

Provided that all construction and operation conditions identified above are complied with, and providing that the facility is not located in an "Environmentally Sensitive Area" it is not necessary that the Salt Storage facility operator obtain a Certificate to Operate from the Department of Environment.

If however, the facility is operated poorly and is considered a "source" or "danger of pollution", the Department will require that the facility operate in accordance with specific conditions laid out in a Certificate to Operate. The Certificate to Operate will be issued upon receipt of the operators application and payment fee, and will require that the site operate according to specific conditions.

Further Information

Additional information and assistance can be obtained by contacting the Impact Management Branch, or a Department of Environment Regional Office in your area.

Regional Boundaries of the New Brunswick Department of Environment

 

Regional Boundaries of the New Brunswick Department of Environment