A: They are plastic pellets which are the basis for making many common plastic products. Find out more here.
"Globally, microplastics—bits of plastic smaller than five millimeters in diameter, including nurdles, microbeads, fragments, fibers, and foam—account for an estimated 85 percent of plastic pollution found on shorelines....
Nurdles can contain concentrations of toxins up to 10 million times greater than what’s found in seawater. The pellets also spread harmful bacteria such as E. coli, which colonize the slimy biofilm that forms on submerged plastic."
Find out more at waterkeeper.org
Formosa owns and operates a chemical manufacturing facility in Point Comfort, Texas. This facility is located in Calhoun County along State Highway 35 and Farm to Market Road (FM) 1593, adjacent to Lavaca Bay. Formosa produces polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, polyethylene, and ethylene.
Formosa began operations in 1980 and expanded the facility in 1994, 1998, and 2010. Formosa has 13 different manufacturing plant areas located on approximately 1,600 acres in south Texas. The facility is located in rural Calhoun County, with the city of Point Comfort to the southwest; ranchland to the west, north, and east; and the Alcoa bauxite facility to the southeast. Cox Creek flows along the eastern boundary of the property. Lavaca Bay is located approximately 1 mile west of the facility, and the Gulf of Mexico is located approximately 1.5 miles east of the facility.
The Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust was established as a result of a Final Consent Decree in Cause No. 6:17-CV-00047 on December 9, 2019, San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper and S. Diane Wilson, vs. Formosa Plastics Corp., Texas and Formosa Plastics Corp., U.S.A., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Victoria Division.
The Consent Decree disposed of the lawsuit by requiring changes at the Formosa Plastics facility, review and monitor of discharges, efforts to clean up the discharges, mitigation projects and imposition of penalties until the discharges cease.
In addition to the required changes outline above, the Consent Decree further required the separate establishment of the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust with the appointment of an independent Trustee to manage and distribute Funds paid by the Defendants for certain projects along with associated funding, funding schedule and objectives, and scope of the mitigation projects to be implemented and administered under the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust.