Research Webinar Series: Salt of the Earth - Vermont's Hidden Pollution Problem

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Online - Registration required

Speakers: Rebecca Tharp, PhD: Founder/ Scientist, Just Water Consulting, LLC ( and Dana Allen, MS: Principal, Fluid State Consulting, LLC (

A video of the Dec. 9, 2020 webinar presentation is available at: Research Webinar: Salt of the Earth - Vermont's Hidden Pollution Problem 

Road deicing salts are impacting freshwater ecosystems worldwide. Centralized road salt distribution and storage facilities are loosely regulated and poorly understood. Over three years, Rebecca Tharp and Dana Allen have monitored the movement of salts from the Vermont Railway’s Shelburne Transload Facility (STF) in the river, wetland, soils, and vegetation at two discharge points from the site as well as a control point that receives no flow from the parcel.

The findings indicate that the facility is routinely exporting salt at levels that exceed Vermont Water Quality Standards. Proper selection of monitoring point locations and media (water, soil, vegetation) is critical for identifying exceedances to water quality standards in a timely fashion.

The findings are described in the article Assessment of deicing salt storage and distribution as a salinization point source: the influence of permitting standards on water in the journal Environmental Systems Research.

The event will take place on Zoom, and registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in any of these programs, please contact Lake Champlain Sea Grant / Julianna White at 802-777-7017 or seagrant [at] no later than three weeks before your chosen date so we can assist you.

Please expect approximately 30 minutes of presentation followed by a facilitated, 20-minute Q&A period.

This seminar is part of the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Seminar Series.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.