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 San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeepers 

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Nurdles

Clean up Lavaca Bay

In 2016 the San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeepers began collecting pellet (nurdle) and powder samples from over twenty- miles of waterways and shoreline along Cox Creek and Lavaca/Matagorda Bays. Between January 31, 2016 and March 2019, Diane Wilson and the San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeepers collected approximately 2,500 samples and took 7,000 photos/videos demonstrating that the Formosa Plastics, Point Comfort facility had repeatedly violated the federal Clean Water Act by dumping pellets and powder on an ongoing basis. In March 2019, the Clean Water suit went to Federal Court, and Judge Hoyt described Formosa as a “serial offender” and wrote that its violations of the Clean Water Act were “extensive, historical, and repetitive.”  In December 2019, U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt approved a $50 Million settlement between Formosa Plastics Corp. and plaintiffs, San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper and Diane Wilson.  The agreement is the largest ever settlement of a Clean Water Act suit filed by private individuals. The settlement funded six key pollution mitigation projects near its Point Comfort, Texas facility and it also required Formosa to meet a stringent standard known as “zero discharge,” in which the Point Comfort facility must stop all discharge of plastics from its facility.

Historic settlement funds pollution mitigation projects

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Get to know Lavaca Bay

Find out more about the History, Regulatory Reports, and Ecological Information on the twenty- miles of waterways and shoreline along Cox Creek and Lavaca/Matagorda Bays.

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WSM Reports

Wastewater Sampling Device

Press

Media coverage

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Remediation Efforts

Learn about the remediation efforts on Cox Creek and in the bay by Freese and Nichols and Horizon

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Clean Water Lawsuit timeline

Clean Water Act Lawsuit Homepage Story

2009
2009

EPA fined Formosa $13 million for air, water and hazardous-waste violations

Formosa Plastics Corp., Texas, and Formosa Plastics Corp., Louisiana, will spend more than $10 million on pollution controls to address air, water, and hazardous waste violations at two petrochemical plants in Point Comfort, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. The..Formosa Plastics Agrees to Resolve Multiple Environmental Violations at Plants in Texas and Louisiana

2010
2010

EPA Inspection

EPA Inspection

EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Facility Report for the Point Comfort facility, Formosa Plastics has been releasing a variety of compounds into Lavaca Bay through a combination of point source discharges via these outfalls and air emissions via flares. Beyond water discharges, the ECHO database cited above also lists Formosa..EPA 2010 Inspection Report

2017
2017

San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeepers file Clean Water Lawsuit against Formosa Plastics

In July 2017, Wilson sued Formosa in federal court under a law that allows citizens to sue industrial polluters when government regulators fail to act. She and her co-plaintiffs, the San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeepers, are seeking penalties of up to $184 million — $104,828 per day for every day..

2018
2018

TCEQ Report

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is the permitting system that industries must use in order to legally discharge waste waters. In Texas, this system is managed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and is called TPDES.

2019
2019

Formosa Plastics settles Lavaca Bay pollution case for $50 Million

Formosa Plastics Corp., San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper and Calhoun County resident Diane Wilson reached the settlement on Tuesday, according to a U.S. District Court filing in Victoria. Company officials reported that the $50 million would go to the newly formed Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust to promote environmental sustainability in..Read More

2019

Texas Monthly : No More Nurdles? Formosa’s Agreement to Stop Pumping Plastics Into Lavaca Bay Is Historic

Texas Monthly : No More Nurdles? Formosa’s Agreement to Stop Pumping Plastics Into Lavaca Bay Is Historic

Gulf Coast citizen-activists collected 30 million plastic pellets in order to prove that Formosa was violating the Clean Water Act.

2021
2021

Nurdle Search Dec 2018