(WAFB) - While groups in Texas are calling a Formosa Plastics settlement an environmental win, Louisiana environmental groups say the settlement is a warning to the state’s biodiversity.
A judge had ruled that the petrochemical company illegally dumped billions of plastic pellets and other pollutants from its Point Comfort facility into Lavaca Bay and other waterways.
In addition, Formosa agreed to comply with “zero discharge” of all plastics in the future and to clean up existing pollution.
In light of the settlement, Louisiana groups opposing Formosa’s plans to build a plastic-making complex in St. James Parish want the project halted. Formosa announced in August a $332 million expansion in Baton Rouge, which officials say will bring more jobs to the area.
These groups, including the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and the Center for Biological Diversity, also want the same “zero discharge” applied to the Louisiana plants.
Opponents of the project in St. James Parish say the proposed complex is located near “Cancer Alley,” a low-income, predominantly African-American community that’s been exposed to industrial pollutants.
In July, hundreds of organizations in the United States filed a legal petition that called for more strict federal water pollution limits on industrial facilities that create plastic.