vdot snow plow

The Virginia Department of Transportation has primary responsibility for road-clearing in Northern Virginia counties except in Arlington, where the local government shares responsibility with VDOT. (File photo)

Domestic, or imported? It will depend on where you travel in Arlington to determine what you find.

Nope, this isn’t about wine or cheese. It’s about road salt.

The Virginia Department of Transportation and Arlington County government share responsibility for clearing snow and ice from the county’s highways and byways. And the salt they use to do it comes from very different places.

The Arlington County government’s primary supply of salt comes from the conglomerate Cargill, which operates the century-old Cayuga Rock Salt Mine in Lansing, N.Y. The company drills down 2,300 feet to mine the rock salt that then is shipped to localities nationwide.

“The salt gets barged to ports in Baltimore, then it gets shipped via truck to Arlington,” said Jessica Baxter, a spokesman for the county government’s Department of Environmental Services.

VDOT’s salt supply also comes via Baltimore, but takes a longer journey. It is purchased from India, said agency spokesman Jennifer McCord.

Previously, the state’s rock-salt supply came from Chile, McCord said.