Resident has doubts if Bauxite pits will be cleaned

Posted at 1:57 PM, Jul 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-21 14:57:17-04

About seventy people showed up to a meeting this week about a problem we’ve been investigating for years.

We’re talking about those bauxite sludge pits, near Taft.

Bauxite is a caustic, red dust. And when the wind blows, the dust gets airborne and causes problems for those whose property is downwind.

The pits were once owned by Sherwin-Alumina and have received the ire of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), but, the dust still blows.

Now, a new owner says they’re going to get busy fixing the problem. But people who live nearby, like Greg Burnett, aren’t buying it.

Burnett lives downwind from pits.

He attended the meeting in Aransas Pass, hosted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), but came away skeptical of what he heard.

"I know a snow job when I hear one."

After years of lawsuits and complaints to both the owner and the TCEQ, he says it’s hard to take anyone’s word that the problem will be fixed.

"I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ll believe when I see it," he says.

The new owner tells us they’re already in the process of covering the pits over with mulch and hay.

We’ll keep you updated.