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'Supply chain issues' delaying solution for Pelican Crossing residents plagued by red dust

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GONZALES - Residents of Pelican Crossing have been dealing with a sticky situation since the neighborhood was built years ago: red bauxite dust blows in from a nearby waste pond, staining everything in sight.

“One day me and my mom were sitting on the back porch and we just saw a big cloud of red dust coming and we had to get up and go inside," said Denora Gaines, who lives in Pelican Crossing. 

Gaines bought her home in January, unaware of the dirty dilemma she'd be forced to clean up every day. 

“My brand new house and everywhere where it’s white you can see the red dust. It’s just all over, and I would like my stuff to stay nice-looking," Gaines said.

In March, the Department of Environmental Quality began investigating complaints from residents of the newly-built Ascension subdivision. It was determined that the company responsible for the dust, LAlumina Burnside Refinery, was not managing it properly

Sprinklers were added to the site to keep the dust damp so that it would not fly through the air and into the homes nearby. Now, the DEQ says supply chain issues are causing a delay for those sprinklers to be delivered.

The explanation isn't sufficient for annoyed residents who want action.

“That’s not good enough because as long as they don’t have the problem fixed, we’re going to have the problem with the red dust," said Gaines. 

For the time being, residents will have to make like the wind and go with the flow. 

The DEQ office was closed Friday, so WBRZ could not reach out for comment.

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