Formosa Off Hook for Plastic Pollution That Predated Settlement

April 30, 2021, 8:20 PM

Formosa Plastics Corp. shouldn’t have to pay penalties for existing plastic contamination in water bodies near its Texas facility, a federal appeals court said Friday.

The company and San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper disagreed about whether newly discharged plastics, or the presence of any plastics, triggers a penalty for Formosa under a consent decree.

The lower court found in favor of the advocacy group, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed and sent the case back.

The forward-looking decree’s text indicates that only new discharges after it was signed would trigger the penalty, as Formosa argued,...

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