Snow Surplus -- Salt Shortage
Measuring spoons filled with salt
TEXT OF STORY
JEREMY HOBSON: Well for about a third of the U.S. population, this is going to be another stormy week. A huge winter storm is expected to bring snow and ice to Texas, Maine, and just about everywhere in between. In many places, there's already a lot of snow on the ground. And local governments are worried they won't have enough salt to keep roads clear.
From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Eve Troeh reports.
EVE TROEH: Morton Satin is vice president of the Salt Institute in Washington DC. He says sodium chloride is everywhere.
MORTON SATIN: It's just salt, of which we have a limitless supply.
But in winter it's more difficult and expensive to haul salt. So, he says, governments need better planning.
SATIN: That means investing in the infrastructure to store as much as you need locally.
He says that need is getting harder to predict.
SATIN: Our pattern appears to be changing.
Salt won't melt snow in extreme cold, Satin says. But now northern states are having warmer winters, so they're using more. Plus, the mid-west and south are getting snow when they didn't used to.
South Carolina transportation engineer David Cook says his state spent all its emergency funds on a recent storm.
DAVID COOK: We don't really even budget for winter storms because we may go a year or two where we really don't have any.
Now, his department wants to built more sheds to store salt. But there's no money.
I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.