Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.76
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Pennsylvania State University
Tier2-4: Snow and Ice Removal

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution implemented technologies or strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of snow and ice removal?:

A brief description of the snow and ice removal program, policy, or practice:

The Office of Physical Plant exercises judgment when applying salt for winter deicing and anti-icing materials in an effort to provide for public safety, yet considers the environmental impacts of the materials used. Currently most materials used are granular. Discretion is used in only applying these materials, at only the proper times to gain the optimal impact of the materials, using the least possible materials. Training occurs annually to assure that proper amounts are applied for proper coverage patterns, avoiding over-application. Mechanical spreaders are calibrated annually, and with the large trucks used for roads and parking lots, liquid brine is sprayed on the salt as it crosses the spinner for spreading on the surface. This reduces bounce of the salt, keeping it on the hard surfaces, and enhances the melting capability of the rock salt, allowing less to be used than in dry granular applications in past years.

NAAC (sodium acetate) is used on parking structures to reduce exposure to corrosion, but it also had the environmental benefit of better properties to biodegrade, and is considered relatively harmless to aquatic life.

In the winter of 2010-11, OPP is switching to the use of granular magnesium chloride for about 1/4 of campus landscape use as a pilot, with a goal to eliminate sodium and calcium based salts from use at building entrances and campus walkways. Additionally, one area will pilot the use of brine as a fully liquid application. Magnesium chloride is recognized as causing less of an impact on plant materials. Planning is also taking place to convert to a liquid application for roads and parking lots in 2011-12. Liquids will provide more controlled application to the target surfaces, again reducing total use of salts, and corresponding impact to plant growth and ground water.

The website URL where information about the program, policy, or practice is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.