State regulators in Texas are considering new rules that could require about 155 plastic resin plants and processing factories in the state to eliminate pellet leakage into the environment. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is considering the new rules after a $50 million settlement in 2019 against Formosa Plastics Corp. for its pellet leakage issues in the state. Decisions on the new rules will have been made in September, and the agency’s plans wouldn’t be final until the second half of 2021.

The ruling in 2019 has put pressure on the TCEQ to enact stricter rules and enforce the Clean Water Act. The environmental group that brought the lawsuit and other environmental groups are demanding that companies be held to the legally binding requirement in the lawsuit that allows for zero discharge of pellets, flakes, and other plastic raw materials.

In response to the plans to tighten regulations, the Texas Chemical Council’s (TCC’s) Hector Rivero, president and CEO, says that the industry wants to address the problem. “We are embracing the fact that we want to make sure we can effectively mitigate plastics pellets and powders and flakes.”