Local business frustrated by more dust from the Port of New Orleans

Dust from Port of New Orleans frustrating business owners

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A business owner who is already fighting in court over dust from the Port of New Orleans says a different type of substance recently invaded his business near the river.

William Schoen owns Uptown Imports Inc. and said the latest dust to waft into his business created problems, as usual.

"It started Friday when the wind shifted from the north to the south, we started getting a lot of this grain dust coming from the wharf over to our property here at Uptown Imports,” Schoen said.

And Schoen said the problem continued Saturday (June 15).

Robert Keys details vehicles at the business and when dust blows in, he said it forces him to clean the same vehicles over and over.

"When it does blow it happens so fast, the soon as I clean a car it’s covered with it,” Keys said.

Some of the residue remained inside Schoen’s shop days later on Tuesday, covering an expensive Maserati.

Additionally, Keys said the dust affected him physically.

"It needs to stop. It’s something horrible, it gets in my lungs, it gets into the eyes,” Keys said.

In February, Schoen and other businesses on Tchoupitoulas Street near the port also complained of a white dust that infiltrated their establishments.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality investigated and determined that the white substance was non-toxic aluminum oxide which can be a mild irritant to the skin and eyes.

Still, Schoen said when dust from port activity enters his business it costs him money.

"Every time it occurs the expenses are pretty hefty when it comes to cleaning up behind this mess,” Schoen said.

Citing litigation, the port would not comment on Schoen’s latest complaint.

Schoen acknowledged that he named the port in a lawsuit filed in March over the white dust and another substance he says entered his business last year.

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