Update: the final SaMS Toolkit was released on March 17, 2021
The final version incorporated the one comment received in the public comment period into Appendix S, Public Participation.
Click here to access the SaMS Toolkit

Keeping with the wintry weather of January, Virginia plans to release the Salt Management Strategy (SaMS) Toolkit that will help support effective management of road salts through Best Management Practices (BMPs) in a January 21 public meeting.  Road salts (also known as chlorides) help keep our roads drivable in ice and snow, but also have a detrimental impact on water quality and can further inhibit water quality improvement by clogging bioretention facilities.  (Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) has studied the impact of chlorides on soil permeability.)  WSSI will continue to follow Virginia’s chloride management process, and will share information in Field Notes.

The SaMS Stakeholder Advisory Committee

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) formed the SaMS Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) to raise awareness of the impacts of road salt and to recommend ways that businesses, organizations, and agencies can voluntarily adapt to best management practices for chloride application.  DEQ’s largely non-regulatory SaMS serves both as a broad framework for implementing the EPA’s Accotink Creek Chlorides TMDL*, and a means for educating stakeholders across Northern Virginia about salt application BMPs.  Once the SaMS has been implemented, leadership will be transferred from DEQ to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

The SAC is made up of more than 40 organizations (state and local government agencies, water maintenance providers, homeowners, citizens and other associations).  It has held public meetings since January 2018, as well as workgroup meetings and training events.

Toolkit Development

The SAC includes six separate workgroups that have worked to identify and develop the Toolkit’s resources and recommendations for effective Salt Management in Northern Virginia; they have focused on:

  • Traditional Best Management Practices
  • Non-Traditional Best Practices
  • Education & Outreach
  • Water Quality Monitoring & Research
  • Salt Tracking & Reporting
  • Government Coordination
  • Public Meeting and Public Comment

The SAC will share the Toolkit in a virtual public meeting on January 21, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.  Interested parties can register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2180983979203362831.  All are welcome, and oral comments can be submitted at the meeting.

Written comments may be submitted from January 22 through February 22, 2021.  Per DEQ instructions, written comments should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting.  Comments – and questions regarding the process – should be submitted to

David Evans
DEQ – Northern Regional Office
13901 Crown Court
Woodbridge, VA 22193

or by email

DEQ provides all of the public meeting and comment period information in this announcement.

WSSI Is Here to Help

If you have questions about how the Salt Management Strategy might affect your projects in Northern Virginia, please contact us.

*the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued in May 2018 to address aquatic life use impairments from the use of road salts


  • Matt Elliott

    Gainesville, VA

  • Frank Graziano

    Gainesville, VA