Kaohsiung City, Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group is under fire from activists who claim its subsidiary, FG LA LLC, retaliated in "an attempt to silence" the St. James Parish, La., community's efforts to raise awareness about concerns with a development site in the region.
In December 2019, two environmental activists, Anne Rolfes and Kate McIntosh, left containers of plastic pellets, or nurdles, collected from waterways and a note explaining what was in the containers on the front porches of the homes of plastics industry lobbyists in the state.
"We have delivered this package of nurdles as a reminder — Louisiana does not need anymore pollution, plastics or otherwise," the note said.
The pellets in the containers had previously been collected from Texas Bay areas as evidence in a lawsuit against Livingston, New Jersey-based Formosa Plastics Corp. USA.
Formosa Plastics Corp. USA has "no subsidiary-parent company relationship" and is "a separate company" from Taiwan's FPG, Fred Neske, director of communications for FPC USA, told Plastics News in an email.
In that case, FPC USA agreed to pay $50 million to settle the suit after a judge ruled in the plaintiffs' favor over the pellets allegedly discharged from its facility in Point Comfort, Texas.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it is the largest settlement ever brought by private citizens under the federal Clean Water Act.