The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), representing snow and ice management companies in North America, endorses Wisconsin Senate Bill 52 and Assembly Bill 61, which aims to balance safety and environmental concerns within the snow and ice management industry.
October 4, 2023 | Staff Editor
The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), representing over 1,500 snow and ice management companies in North America, has evaluated Wisconsin Senate Bill 52 and Assembly Bill 61. SIMA is dedicated to promoting best practices and professional development training within the snow and ice management industry. Acknowledging the adverse effects of chloride-based deicers on freshwater sources and natural vegetation, SIMA recognizes that chlorides are essential for maintaining safe transportation and preventing accidents, such as slip and falls.
Senate Bill 52 and Assembly Bill 61 aim to strike a balance between limiting chloride contamination in freshwater sources and providing liability protection for trained and certified applicators. This bill mandates the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to establish a program for registering deicer applicators and set standards for training commercial applicators in snow and ice removal and deicer application techniques that safeguard water quality. SIMA supports this legislation and encourages Wisconsin commercial salt applicators to consider its benefits.
WI SB 52/AB 61 largely replicates a program in New Hampshire that has been successfully operating for 10 years. Specifically that Commercial Salt Applicators certified by NH DES (Department of Environmental Services) Green SnowPro under RSA 489-C, and property owners or managers who hire them, are granted limited liability protection against damages arising from snow and ice conditions under RSA 508:22
Key points supporting the legislation include:
The program is voluntary, allowing commercial applicators the choice to participate.
The legislation provides liability protection for certified commercial applicators and owners when snow and ice hazards arise from natural causes, and the applicators follow approved training methods. Exceptions apply in cases of gross negligence, intentional harm, or failure to adhere to approved methods, ensuring responsible practices.
The legislation promotes responsible salt application practices to address the salinization of surface and groundwater caused by rock salt usage. Protecting freshwater sources is crucial for Wisconsin’s economy, tourism, and overall quality of life.
SIMA supports Wisconsin’s efforts to regulate salt application in a way that safeguards freshwater resources, protects the public, and encourages professional development among snow and ice management professionals.