Ontario Salt ​Pollution Coalition

Pursuing provincial action on salt pollution today

for healthy waters into the future

It’s Salty in ontario.

Many freshwater rivers, lakes, and aquifers are facing ​serious, chronic, and rising salt pollution.

Enough time has passed to determine that Canada’s ​current Code of Practice and Ontario guidelines on salt ​are not adequately protecting water. Salt levels continue ​to rise in ground and surface water.

This coalition of concerned individuals, community ​groups, and eNGOs have come together to advocate for ​improvements to Ontario’s handling of salt pollution.

We urgently need a provincial ​roadmap to a less salty future.

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This is our

salt pollution action agenda

for Ontario

In charting a new path forward to address the long-standing impacts of ​winter salt application, the Coalition asks the Province of Ontario to:

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Convene the ​experts

Establish a multistakeholder advisory committee to guide and inform provincial ​action on road salt, including…

  • Establishing a meaningful regulatory body for road salts in Ontario
  • Standardization or codification of Best Management Practices and training requirements for ​road salt use and application (such as Smart About Salt)
  • Exploring limited liability approaches for road salt applicators
  • Establishing mechanisms for monitoring ecological and water impacts, reporting water quality ​progress, & reviewing data-based policy revision needs

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water now

Address the emergent and ongoing harms of winter salt application to water and ​water-based ecosystems, including…

  • Establishing enforceable maximum salt pollution limits (such as maximum loads standards, ​provincial water quality objectives) that are ecologically protective
  • Remediation of current salt impacts
  • Better water quality monitoring (including indicators)

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cut the salt

Commit to substantial salt reduction in the short term, and completely phase ​out the use of salts in the long term, in ​favour of sustainable physical, chemical, ​practical, and non-toxic alternatives, including...

  • Research on, development of, and implementation of sustainable alternatives to salt
  • Implementation of practices that negate the need for chemical solutions (such as requiring ​snow tires and increased plowing)

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the change

Mobilize public funds to support multi-level action on salt pollution issues, including…

  • Properly resourcing regulatory, monitoring, and enforcement mechanisms
  • Funding water conservation efforts
  • Public education


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For the birds. For the fish. For the people. For the land. ​For the crops. For the Great Lakes. For the ecosystems. ​For all the waters that give us life.

We call for action ​on salt pollution

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Who we are

The Ontario Salt Pollution Coalition ​is a working group of individuals, ​community groups, and eNGOs who ​are unified in our pursuit of ​provincial action on salt pollution to ​protect water. The coalition is ​coordinated by Water Watchers.

Ontario Salt Pollution ​Coalition Members

Peter Miasek

Norman Yan

Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux

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Are you interested in supporting this work? Email ​dani@waterwatchers.ca to inquire about joining the coalition!

Learn more about salt pollution

in Ontario waters and beyond

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Watersheds Canada: Salt Knowledge hub

Water WebinarS: Getting Smart about Salts

Hear from experts Shelley Arnott, Lee ​Gould, and others to learn about the ​problems with winter salt use in ​Ontario!

Review Muskoka Conservancy’s ​excellent Water Quality webinar, ​warning of salt threats & what you can ​do to help.

Landscape ontario’s snow & ice removal ​Policy Paper: “A Call For Change”

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Click here to read Landscape ​Ontario’s one-page policy brief, ​including their industry ​perspectives on the needs for ​change, why a “limited ​liability” approach matters, ​and what’s at risk if the ​Province of Ontario continues ​to do nothing.

Lake Ontario Beach

salt doesn’t belong here


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