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Environmental officials respond after 2 On Your Side story on red dust in Gonzales

2 years 3 months 4 days ago Saturday, April 09 2022 Apr 9, 2022 April 09, 2022 2:33 PM April 09, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES - The red dust is more than just a nuisance for Gonzales residents — it's starting to make their homes look bloody.

Friday was another day of red dust flying in from nearby bauxite mud ponds around the area.

"I've mopped a couple of times, but it's just all coming into the house. It's all over everything," a Gonzales resident said.

Brittany Weiss and 2 On Your Side first broke the story in 2019. Residents were complaining about the red dust then, and three years later, nothing has changed.

"This morning once it kicked up again, I got up early and mopped everything again, and then once the winds started kicking up again you could just see it," the resident complained. 

Thursday, WBRZ reached out to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) about the issue. They responded Friday with the following:

"Inspectors have visited the site, and LDEQ has been in touch with the company. the company told LDEQ that they will be doing some assessment and repair to the sprinkler system. I will let you know when we get a timetable"

The sprinkler system plays a key role in preventing these dust clouds, damping the red mounds to stop them from spreading every time the wind blows.

When asked if the company has been given a deadline to fix the sprinklers, but LDEQ has not responded. 

"I think it's something that they should have had figured out right because you get hurricanes here. You get weather events frequently, so why would they be working on it now," she said.

WBRZ also asked LDEQ if the company responsible for the dust could be facing fines, and that was left unanswered.

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