Company releasing black dust set to go before Zoning Board - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Company releasing black dust set to go before Zoning Board

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A local industrial company accused of polluting a Lake Charles neighborhood with black dust could lose their permit to operate.  

Lake Charles City officials met with the company, Industrial Carbon Services, last week and said after further investigation, they are in violation of the current zoning ordinance.

It's good news for residents who have voiced their concerns for quiet some time. Residents off North General Wainwright Drive said the black dust is not only covering their homes and vehicles, but they fear the unknown health hazards. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is conducting its own investigation into the black dust.

Industrial Carbon Services is located just north of the North General Wainright Drive on Industrial Drive. The company repackages petro coke which results in the release of the black dust.

Lake Charles City Administrator John Cardone said Industrial Carbon Services only had a permit to use one building on the property as a warehouse. However, without approval, the company has expanded their operations to two other buildings on the property resulting in the pollution of the black dust.

"After going through it in detail, we decided they were in violation of the zoning ordinance. We feel that's being used for improper use of a zoning compliance. So, we scheduled a violation letter giving them so much time to correct it. They came in that Friday and made application to apply for a special exception to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission to get approval," explained Cardone.

The meeting before the Lake Charles Planning and Zoning Commission is set for May 13. Industrial Carbon Services will have to convince the board they are taking the precautions to fix the problem. At the same time, residents are encouraged to attend and share how they have been impacted by the company. 

If approved or denied, either side has the option to appeal the board's decision to the Lake Charles City Council, which ultimately will have the final say in the case.

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