Lawmakers in the state house want to use less salt to clear Michigan roads of ice and snow.
Their suggested solution? Beet juice.
Democratic State Representative Brian Elder introduced the bill. He said salt is expensive and can impact drinking water quality when it makes it into the water supply.
“When the watershed itself goes through the salinization process it affects the quality of drinking water and it also affects the vegetation that exist in all of our ecosystems.”
Elder said other organic material could be tried as well but beet juice is what first came to mind.
“My district is home to Michigan Sugar so in this particular case we would be talking about sugar beet juice and that organic matter,” Elder said.
The bill creates a pilot program that incentivizes the Michigan Department of Transportation to use organic material including beet juice to cut down on the use of salt.
The beet juice wouldn’t replace salt - it’s mixed with salt to reduce the amount of salt that is used.
According to Elder beet juice has already been piloted in Farmington Hills, New Jersey, and North Dakota.