The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 10, 2014

Salt brine to control road dust in Conneaut

CONNEAUT — Asked their opinion on the use of salt brine to control road dust, a majority of respondents told City Council they wanted the treatment to continue this summer, members said at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Last week, Council President Nicholas Church announced a community-wide survey on the issue of salt brine as a dust-fighting measure. The action came in response to a brine vendor’s request that Church and City Manager Tim Eggleston sign a letter authorizing applications in 2014.

Church is opposed to the use of brine for environmental and health reasons, but said he would sign the letter if a majority of council favored brine. The public was asked to weigh in, and most of those who contacted their councilperson said they wanted brine.

Hearing the results, Church said he would sign the letter. “I’m not against dust control, but I am against salt brine,” he said.

Members said, however, they are not in favor of long-term use of salt brine, a byproduct of the gas/oil drilling process.

“We need to find alternatives,” said Ward 1 Councilman Doug Hedrick. “I support brine as a stop-gap measure. We need find a (better) solution, and we need it quickly.”

Ward 2 Councilman Phil Garcia agreed, saying a “more permanent solution” is needed.

Councilman-at-large Jon Arcaro said people cited choking dust and the respiratory distress it causes as the main reason for favoring brine application. “They feel they are prisoners in their own homes (during the summer),” he said.

Last week Councilman-at-large John Roach — a former Public Service Department director — said the city used a manufactured salt brine one year as a experiment. The substance is very expensive but very effective, he said. The city should explore the purchase of the material in 2015, he said.

A 1985 ordinance stipulates salt brine will be applied to city roads yearly unless council amends the ordinance, Church said.

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