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Dirt being staged to cover red dust troubling Ascension Parish residents

GONZALES - Truck loads of dirt are being hauled in to cover up red dust left behind at a closed aluminum plant. It's a process that's been in the works for months.

Ascension Parish has been working with LAlumina and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to execute a plan that would eventually cover the red dust with a thick layer of dirt.

The dirt is from several parish drainage projects.

Residents have been complaining about the dust kicking up and blowing around the parish for years. Some people are concerned about breathing it in and say it leaves a bad taste in their throat.

The dirt project would use funds set aside by LAlumina, with LAlumina representative Aaron Templet saying there is about $4.6 million set aside to cover the costs. To release those funds, a cooperative endeavor agreement will need signatures from Ascension Parish, LAlumina and DEQ.

Last week, Ascension Parish told 2 On Your Side that it was working to get the permits needed to start the work.

LAlumina says the dirt is being staged next to the levee across from the ponds in Pelican Crossing.

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