North Dakota may soon begin using brine, a byproduct of oil production, to control dust on roads.
A state health department official says test are underway to determine the environmental impact and effectiveness of using brine — which is 10 to 30 times saltier than seawater — compared to commercially available products, the AP reports.
On dry days with heavy traffic, dust on gravel roads leading to oil production sites can create near-whiteout conditions. But using magnesium chloride to control dust can cost $7,000 per mile, the news service says. Brine, however, can be obtained for free from oil companies.
This winter Milwaukee used cheese brine waste to de-ice city roads as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to rock salt, which can wash away and pollute waterways.