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AASHTO-ASDWA Webinar: How State Highway and Drinking Water Programs Can Work Together for Mutual Benefits and Reduce Impacts from Road Salt

Original Broadcast: Thursday, March 8, 2018
Slide Deck: 
AASHTO-ASDWA Road Salt Webinar – March 2018

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Center for Environmental Excellence (CEE) and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) are pleased to announce a free webinar entitled, “How State Highway and Drinking Water Programs Can Work Together for Mutual Benefits and Reduce Impacts from Road Salt.” The webinar will include an introduction from AASHTO, a brief presentation about ASDWA’s new handout and web page on the “Intersection of Roads and Drinking Water,” and feature presentations from representatives for each of the state programs in New Hampshire and Maryland, who will share how they work together, along with a few examples and some more specific information on best practices for road salt applications and impacts to drinking water. State drinking water program and state highway program personnel are encouraged to attend, along with anyone else who is interested and would like to participate.

Webinar Presentations

New Hampshire’s Experience and Approaches to Reducing Salt Impacts Upon Drinking Water Resources:  Pierce Rigrod, a Supervisor with the Drinking Water & Groundwater Bureau in the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and Caleb Dobbins, the State Highway Maintenance Engineer for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), will share how NHDES and NHDOT have been working together to protect drinking water for over 20 years through a mutually agreed upon set of source protection measures that apply to common road construction projects and have coordinated closely on major interstate projects to minimize salt impacts upon nearby community wells and reservoirs. The presentation will discuss the way the two agencies operate and coordinate on winter maintenance activities to minimize salt use and work to prevent salt impacts upon drinking water resources, and will focus on policy, project reviews, equipment, technology and design changes.

Managing Chloride in Maryland’s Surface Waters:  Lee Currey, Director of the Water and Science Administration for the Maryland Department of Environment, will present how increasing chloride levels are leading to degraded water quality in Maryland’s drinking water reservoirs, and in its streams and rivers, with the potential to adversely impact drinking water systems and aquatic life. Available information and data show this increase is due to winter road salt application. The state is looking for approaches through its MS4 permits to reduce the usage of road salt and quantify the impacts of these efforts.

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration Salt Management Best Practices:  Russ Yurek, the Director of the Office of Maintenance for the State Highway Administration in the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), will provide an overview of MDOT SHA’s best practices used for winter resource management while balancing public safety and environmental stewardship.

Speaker Biographies


Pierce Rigrod
Pierce Rigrod
Pierce Rigrod is a supervisor within the Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in Concord, NH.  He oversees drinking water source protection programs including the Local Source Water Protection Grants, Chemical Monitoring Waiver Program and the Groundwater Reclassification Program. He provides technical assistance to public water systems and municipalities concerning how to better protect local drinking water resources through land conservation, zoning, and better management of chemical substances that can affect public health and the environment. Pierce holds a master’s degree in regional and urban planning and has worked in NHDES’ Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau for the last 12 years.


Caleb Dobbins
Caleb Dobbins
Caleb Dobbins is the State Highway Maintenance Engineer for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) and has served in that role since 2006. His position has the responsibly for all aspects of the administration of the Bureau of Highway Maintenance, encompassing the Headquarters section based in Concord, NH as well as the operation of the six highway districts located throughout the state. Also included in the headquarters section is the management of over 90 fuel sites statewide, the issuance of all OS/OW travel permits and the salted well contamination section. Caleb is currently a member of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance, the AASHTO Region 1 Representative to the Snow and Ice Cooperative Program (SICOP) as well serving on several FHWA/NCHRP/TRB research projects and committees.  He has also served on the FHWA Clear Roads Winter Maintenance Pooled Fund group from 2009 until 2016.  Caleb is a licensed professional engineer and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.


Lee Currey
Lee Currey
Lee Currey is the Director of the Water and Science Administration at the Maryland Department of the Environment. He oversees both the States Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act Programs as well as serving as lead staff on the Governor’s Chesapeake Bay Cabinet supporting Chairman Grumbles. Lee’s administration is currently leading priority efforts to advance Chesapeake Bay Restoration, to provide a water quality certification for Conowingo Dam Relicensing, revise the next round of NPDES stormwater permits and test for lead in drinking water in schools, to name a few. Over Lee’s 17 years with the Department he has served in various roles ranging from engineer to director. Prior to MDE Lee worked as an engineer in the private sector. Lee has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Civil Engineering with a focus on Water Resources and is a registered professional engineer.


Russ Yurek
Russ Yurek
Russ Yurek is in the 40th year of his career with the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration. He began his career as a Highway Maintenance Worker and worked at all the various levels within a maintenance shop, before becoming the Resident Maintenance Engineer for Harford County, the Assistant District Engineer of Maintenance for the Baltimore Metropolitan District, and then the Director of the Office of Maintenance, which he has been for the past 19 years. He previously served as the Chair of the Maintenance Management System Task Force, and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee of Maintenance for the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO).  Russ is currently the Maryland delegate for the Sub-Committee of Maintenance within AASHTO and is serving a second stint as the Vice-Chair for the Subcommittee. Russ has had an active role in performance management, and in promoting efficiency within maintenance operations.