Environmental Activist Awarded $50 Million Pollution Settlement with Formosa

December 3, 2019

Environmental activist Diane Wilson on Tuesday received a $50 million settlement from plastics maker Formosa over what Wilson alleged was an illegal discharge of plastic pellets into waterways near Lavaca Bay.

Formosa Plastics Corp. had already paid near $122,000 in fines for the pellet release to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which the company had argued was punishment enough without Ms. Wilson’s lawsuit.

In his Tuesday ruling, Victoria-based U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt referred to Formosa as a “serial offender” in pollution problems, approving the large settlement with Wilson despite the TCEQ fine.

Wilson was represented by Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, the indigent representation non-profit and wrote a rambling autobiography of her activist experiences titled An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas.