Winter is Coming: MCDOT Announces Sustainable Snow Removal Efforts

Snow removal is about to get more environmentally friendly in Montgomery County.

At Montgomery County’s annual Snow Summit event on Wednesday, County Executive Marc Elrich and Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT) officials announced environmental advances made for handling the snow for the winter 2019-2020 season.

Elrich announced that this snow season, MCDOT will experiment using rubber-tipped blades on snowplows since metal tip blades damage roads, especially when used before three inches of snowfall.

Also, the county has modified contracts with snow plowers so they are responsible for cleaning up salt and cognizant of not using too much salt. MCDOT will also inspect and calibrate all snow equipment to prevent salt overuse.

“I am confident that the improvements MCDOT is making this season to better manage salt application will reduce impacts on the environment,” MCDOT Director Chris Conklin said.

MCDOT will also use more salt brine to remove snow and ice. Salt brine is better for the environment since it’s composed of 20% salt and 20% water.

Each snow season, MCDOT’s seven regional depots are tasked with clearing snow along 220 plow routes on more than 5,200 lane miles roads in the county. The depots have a total of 200 staff members responsible for snow removal using 175 pieces of equipment.

“Every year, MCDOT takes a hard look at its snow removal operations to find ways to make improvements – and this year is no exception. I appreciate the work of the department to incorporate new environmental controls—both before and after storms—to make our operations more environmentally sustainable,” said Elrich.

Tweet Summary of Montgomery County Snow Summit

Here’s a summary of Montgomery County’s annual Snow Summit event, in tweet form.

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Deirdre Byrne

About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.


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