Basalt contributes for study of de-icer |

Basalt contributes for study of de-icer

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Basalt Town Council decided Tuesday night they must contribute to a study of the road de-icer called magnesium chloride since they spurred protests of its use last year.

The council voted 7-0 to contribute $1,000 to a study being spearheaded by the Colorado Association of Ski Towns, known as CAST.

“I personally see no way that we can’t support this,” said Councilwoman Anne Freedman. “We’re the ones that started this magnesium chloride thing.”

The board asked the Colorado Department of Transportation to stop using the de-icer in the town limits last winter. CDOT stopped using it on Two Rivers Road but not on Highway 82.

CDOT officials defended their use of the substance by citing studies that indicate it isn’t harmful to the environment or human health. Basalt officials said more thorough study is needed.

CAST – whose members include Aspen, Avon, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Dillon, Snowmass Village, Telluride and Vail – decided to raise funds for more comprehensive studies. Its goal is to raise $24,000.

If successful, matching funds of about $14,000 will be supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey. CDOT will also supply an undetermined amount of matching funds, according to Jacque Whitsitt, a Basalt councilwoman who is also executive director of CAST.

The studies will examine magnesium chloride’s effects on air, streams, wells and human health.

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