Snowmelting ice as seen applied to a sidewalk.

Approved EO 4 Specification

Pre-Packaged Snowmelt and Deicing Products
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Pre-Packaged Snowmelt and Deicing Products

 

Covered Products

This specification covers pre-packaged snowmelt and deicing products—as well as traction enhancers—that are used on steps, parking lots, sidewalks and other types of walkways. These products are available as granules, flakes and liquids. They are typically packaged in bags, plastic shaker jugs, bottles, buckets, cardboard boxes, or totes.

This category does not include bulk purchases of snow and ice melt products that are purchased for use on roadways, parking lots, or other surfaces. It also does not include windshield antifreeze, lock deicers or any deicing products in aerosol containers.

 

Goal

To set minimum environmental goals for the purchase of pre-packaged snowmelt and deicing products.

 

Background

There are a wide variety of snowmelt and deicing products on the market. These products are designed to be directly applied to hard surfaces which lead to them entering waterbodies during stormwater runoff. In addition, these products contain varying levels of constituents that can be harmful to water bodies and aquatic life.

 

Definitions

Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) - A BUD is a designation made by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 360.12, whether Parts 360-365 Solid Waste Management Regulations have jurisdiction over waste material which is to be beneficially used. Once the Department grants a BUD, the waste material ceases to be considered a solid waste (for the purposes of Parts 360-365) when used as described in the BUD. See https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8821.html for more details.

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) - An EPD is a document that communicates verified, transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products. The EPD is governed by ISO 14025 and EN 15804

Health Product Declaration (HPD) - The HPD Open Standard is a standard specification – composed of a format and instructions – for the accurate, reliable and consistent reporting of product contents and associated health information, for products used in the built environment. See https://www.hpd-collaborative.org/ for more details.

 

Standard Setting and Certification Programs

Safer Choice Program: Snow and ice melt products are covered under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice eco-labeling program. The Safer Choice Standard for Safer Products states that product ingredients “cannot be listed carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive or developmental toxicants (CMRs), or persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs). Also, chemicals that release, degrade to, or form byproducts that are CMRs or PBTs will not be allowed.” Corrosion inhibitors, which are added to many environmentally preferable snow and ice melt products are specifically listed as an ingredient that is subject to evaluation in the Safer Choice standard. More information on the Safer Choice Program can be found at https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice .

Pacific Northwest Snow Fighters (PNS): The Pacific Northwest Snow Fighters (PNS) is an association of transportation agencies within the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, and the province of British Columbia. The PNS has developed a list of physical, environmental, and corrosion-related specifications for snow and ice control materials to guide transportation agencies in the selection of chemical products for snow and ice control. The association’s mission is to “strive to serve the traveling public by evaluating and establishing specifications for products used in winter maintenance that emphasize safety, environmental preservation, infrastructure protection, cost-effectiveness and performance.”  Products on the PNS Qualified Products List must: pass a series of tests for friction, corrosion, chemical properties and toxicological properties; meet environmental and health standards and; be at least 70% less corrosive than road salt. More information on the Pacific Northwest Snow Fighters (PNS) can be found at http://pnsassociation.org/ .

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program: Managed by the USDA, the goal of the BioPreferred program is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products. The BioPreferred program provides acquisition tools, the BioPreferred Catalog and training resources to assist in meeting federal biobased purchasing requirements. Also, a business with a biobased product that meets USDA criteria may apply for certification, allowing them to display the USDA Certified Biobased Product label on the product.

 

Specifications

Affected entities shall, to the maximum extent practicable, follow the best management practices provided by the manufacturer for pre-packaged snowmelt and deicing products. Such products shall not be used in lieu of snow removal, such as; shoveling, plowing, or snow-blowing. Also snow piles from shoveling and plowing shall be located to prevent meltwater from running onto a driving/walking surface and refreezing.

Affected entities shall, to the maximum extent practicable, procure pre-packaged snowmelt and deicing products that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Certified by the US EPA’s Safer Choice program and currently on the Safer Choice List, which can be accessed at https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/products; OR
  • Approved by the Pacific Northwest Snowfighters (PNS) and currently on the PNS Qualified Product List (QPL) except in Category 8 (which includes solid sodium chloride deicing products without a corrosion inhibitor).

In addition, if a product contains ingredients defined as waste in accordance with 6 NYCRR Part 360 (such as condensed distillers solubles, agricultural by-products or other waste), then affected entities shall obtain a signed statement from the manufacturer, on the manufacturer’s letterhead, verifying that:

  • the incorporation of the waste complies with the beneficial use regulations at 6 NYCRR Part 360.12; and
  • any case-specific BUD granted per 6 NYCRR Part 360.12 is valid and that all conditions associated with the determination are being complied with.

A listing of case-specific BUDs that have been granted can be found at https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8821.html.

Affected entities are also encouraged to procure pre-packaged snowmelt and deicing products that meet the following criteria:

  • Listed in the USDA BioPreferred Catalog or Certified Biobased by the USDA’s BioPreferred Program
  • Free of sodium chloride (NaCl)
  • Can provide an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) or Health Product Declaration (HPD)
  • Have a phosphorous concentration that does not exceed 250 ppm

 

Packaging

Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).

New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following:

  • The use of bulk packaging.
  • The use of reusable packaging.
  • The use of innovative packaging that reduces the weight of packaging, reduces packaging waste, or utilizes packaging that is a component of the product.
  • That all packaging remains the property of the supplier and not become the property of the affected state entity under any circumstance or condition. The vendor shall certify that the packaging material will be reused, recycled, or composted, and managed in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws.
  • Packaging that maximizes recycled content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines.
  • Packaging that is recyclable or compostable.