Somewhat lost in all the hype about the heavy snows and frigid temperatures much of the country has had this winter, and the frustration with a pothole epidemic and treacherous roads and sidewalks, is that we may be applying record amounts of road deicing chemicals, primarily salt (NaCl). A couple of recent articles in the New York Times highlighted how much salt we’ve been using. From an article on February 16, 2014, it was reported that Chicago has already spent $25 million for plowing and salting, $5 million more than budgeted. That’s with half of February and all of March still to come; in a typical March, Chicago gets about 7 inches of snow. Other data from that article: Pennsylvania is using road salt at a pace 24% ahead of normal, and Maine has already spent almost 40% more than they do in a normal year.