Formosa should seize chance to go from ‘serial offender’ to environmental shining star
By the Advocate Editorial Board

Victoria Advocate
Jul 6, 2019

…Judge Hoyt also criticized the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which the Environmental Protection Agency has given the authority to issue and enforce Clean Water Act permits. TCEQ is failing at its job of protecting the environment, the judge said.  Hoyt is a senior judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. His words carry weight….

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You can describe Formosa Plastics as a “serial offender” of the environment, a polluter that must be stopped, as a federal judge recently did. For years, residents have accused Formosa Plastics Corporation of polluting nearby waterways with plastic pellets. You also can characterize Formosa as a cornerstone of the Crossroads economy, with 2,400 Texas employees, plus 1,000 contractors providing an annual payroll of $226 million.

Both characterizations are true, leaving the average person in the uncomfortable position of trying to reconcile in their minds the age-old dilemma of jobs vs. the environment. However, this is the wrong frame for the conversation. A better one is employment plus the environment.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt said strongly that Formoa had violated the Clean Water Act by discharging plastic pellets and PVC powder into Lavaca Bay and Cox Creek.

Judge Hoyt also criticized the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which the Environmental Protection Agency has given the authority to issue and enforce Clean Water Act permits. TCEQ is failing at its job of protecting the environment, the judge said.

Hoyt is a senior judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. His words carry weight.

He logically concluded Formosa was violating its permit that allowed it to discharge only a “trace amount” of pellets or powder into the water. Many thousands of pellets are routinely found in nearby Cox Creek and Lavaca Bay. This is no trace amount…..

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