Texas Environmentalists Win In Court Against A Manufacturing Giant

Barbara Schwarz
June 28, 2019 - 5:33 pm

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - US District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt has ruled that Formosa, the Taiwanese-owned manufacturing giant is in "enormous" violation of the Clean Water Act. He also said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not do its job to stop Formosa from dumping plastic pellets and other pollutants into Lavaca Bay and nearby streams and bays.

Fourth generation shrimper and environmentalists Diane Wilson sued Formosa in 2017 and is thrilled. She says Hoyt "saw us, he heard us and for the first time in my whole environmental work, I felt that justice was delivered and it's blowing my mind."

She's been documenting the pollution for four years. "I've been using the workers from the plant. They have been my allies and we've been going out for four years now."

Next comes the penalty phase of the trial. Formosa argued that the lawsuit was moot because the TCEQ imposed fines of $121,875 for six violations in 2017. The judge said that's not the case. 

Wilson and the other plaintiffs are seeing $184 million. The monies could go towards cleanup costs. "What its going to take to make them stop is a fine that's significant enough that they will not do this again, and that's the point."