Reserve bauxite plant news comes with many community concerns

Published 12:01 am Saturday, June 27, 2015

I don’t seem to have the enthusiasm expressed by Governor Bobby Jindal and others in announcing the Reserve bauxite processing plant on the Mississippi River.

While sales tax revenue is badly needed, I am extremely concerned about the location of this plant and its environmental impact upon the Reserve community. I hope I am wrong but I seem to remember Kaiser had a bauxite plant, and over the years houses on the opposite side of the Mississippi River had to be painted because of red bauxite pollution that traveled across the river.

Were there public hearings on this plant? Are there environmental and impact studies and reports on this bauxite plant? Were the Reserve council members — Madere, Wilson, Gauff — on top on this plant?

I would certainly like to know the answers to these questions.

I am extremely concerned on the location of the bauxite plant. Will it be near the Godchaux-Reserve House and the school board office? If so, all attempts to refurbish this 300-year-old house will be useless and no one will invest in this project. Will it be near the alternative school site — Leon Godchaux? Do we want to expose our students to the pollution from this plant? Is it near a residential area?

Please don’t tell me this is a pollution free plant. We heard this with the dust free grain elevators. Will Reserve be called the “Red City?”

Gerald J. Keller, Ph.D., Reserve resident.