Environmental groups call Formosa Plastics $50M settlement a ‘big warning’ to Louisiana

Environmental groups call Formosa Plastics $50M settlement a ‘big warning’ to Louisiana
Formosa Plastics has a production facility in Baton Rouge. (Source: WAFB)

(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.

Formosa Plastics, which has a facility in Baton Rouge, reached a settlement with San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper and Calhoun County resident Diane Wilson on Tuesday, according to the Texas Tribune.

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.

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