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Curious Why Snow Isn’t Dumped In The Ocean

By Ken Tucci, WBZ-TV
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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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Just wondering since we live so close to the ocean, why can’t we dump truckloads of snow into the Atlantic.  I would think there is a location that would be accessible for trucks to dump a load of snow into the ocean.  Seems like a practical answer to get rid of all the snow that is piled up everywhere especially in the city of Boston.  Just a thought. - Diane, Plymouth

And with another set of storms heading this way, where to put it all is a huge question.

But there’s one very important reason why the snow can’t be dumped in the ocean….it’s against the law.  The Clean Water Act prohibits dumping snow in the ocean, and The Wetlands Protection Act says “no” to dumping it in rivers and lakes.  Why?  Because those truckloads of snow would contain contaminants like road treating chemicals, salt and even oil and gas from cars.  Not to mention garbage picked up off the road.  All stuff that doesn’t belong in our waterways.

However, according to the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection, a city or town can ask that agency for a waiver in an emergency, but only if they can show that the snow they want to dump isn’t contaminated.  So far during this harsh winter, no city or town has asked.

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