By Mike Dougherty

By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This winter has been a busy one for PennDOT. It has gone through nearly 100,000 tons of salt already.

Plenty more is stock piled just in case Old Man Winter has a few more tricks up his sleeve, but where does all that salt come from?

While PennDOT has all the salt it needs, according to spokesman Gene Blaum, more is just a phone call away.

“We obtain our salt from Chile,” Mary Kay Warner, with International Salt in Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County, tells KYW Newsradio, “and it’s in the Tarapaca Salt Flat, which is a desert area and that reserve has enough salt in it to meet world-wide demand for salt for probably the next 5,000 years.”

She says the salt comes in massive boulders before being processed:

“It goes through a crushing process, then a screening process to get a fairly uniformed size crystal.”

The same salt that PennDOT buys in massive quantities is also available in bags at most big box hardware stores.

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