Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics is polluting the US as well as Vietnam, as discussed after the article.
From RFA: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/formosa-protests-01242018163710.html
“Fishermen Again Protest in Central Vietnam Over 2016 Toxic Spill Payout 2018-01-24
About 100 mostly fishermen from central Vietnam’s Quang Binh Province have held three days of protests over what they say is inadequate compensation for lost livelihoods caused by a toxic waste spill that occurred along the country’s central coast in April 2016, a priest from the village told RFA.
The fishermen from Van Dong village in Quang Hai commune were affected by the spill that polluted more than 125 miles of coastline along four coastal provinces, including Quang Binh, killing an estimated 115 tons of fish and leaving fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless.
Two months after the spill, Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group acknowledged it was responsible for the release of the chemicals from its massive steel plant located at the deep-water port in Ha Tinh province’s Ky Anh district.
The company voluntarily paid U.S. $500 million to clean up and compensate those affected by the spill, but the slow and uneven payout of the funds by the Vietnamese government has prompted ongoing protests.
“Quang Hai Commune has made a list of people who were to be compensated but for some reason many people who are victims are not included in that list, while many others were not adequately compensated,” said Nguyen Thanh Tinh, the lead priest of Van Don parish.
He said the government had determined that the fishermen of the village should receive 140 million dong (US $6,200) in compensation for losses due to the Formosa spill, but received 100 million from the communal authorities.
“That’s why they have been protesting for 3 or 4 days,” Tinh said. About 100 fishermen joined the protest, slowing traffic on a bridge in the village, he said.
“They have spoken to the authorities about the problem but the provincial level officials said if there is anything wrong, it should be the responsibilities of the communal authorities while the communal level officials insisted that they did the right thing,” said the priest.
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, who is overseeing the government’s compensation process for those affected by the Formosa disaster, said in June 2017 that all payments would be issued by the end of that month. Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Emily Peyman. Written in English by Paul Eckert. Copyright © 1998-2018, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org. ” https://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/formosa-protests-01242018163710.html
Formosa’s not just polluting Vietnam, but the US, too. Apparently not just easier to get air pollution permits in the US, as they state below, but they have had chronic water violations and air pollution discharges, as well. It’s unclear if the air pollution discharges are legal under their permit, or not. However, they are currently being sued for water pollution
“Taiwan’s Formosa Seeks U.S. Permit for $9.4 Billion Investment
Adela Lin, Sharon Cho and Ann Koh
February 20, 2017, 4:21 AM CST
“Formosa Plastics Group is seeking permission from the U.S. state of Louisiana to invest $9.4 billion to build petrochemical plants….
“The expansion in Texas is already underway, which will be completed by 2018, Formosa Plastics Corp.’s Lin said. “Materials are cheaper in the U.S. and it’s easier to get air permits in U.S. than in Taiwan,” he said.” Read the article here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-20/taiwan-s-formosa-seeks-u-s-permit-for-9-4-billion-investment
“Residents sue Formosa for polluting bays By Jessica Priest
July 31, 2017 at 10:21 p.m. Updated Aug. 1, 2017 at 6 a.m.
“Formosa releases most chemicals in region after hurricane By Jessica Priest Sept. 29, 2017 at 8:51 p.m. Updated Sept. 30, 2017 at 1:25 p.m.”
“On June 14, 2012, a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 3008(a) Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Formosa Plastics Corporation, Texas (Formosa) was filed with the Regional Hearing Clerk for the EPA Region 6. This new Order complemented the existing 3008(h) AOC to obtain site-wide corrective measures for remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater and closed negotiations regarding a site-wide RCRA 3008(h) Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO).
The new 3008(a) AOC requires Formosa to implement Region 6 Corrective Action Strategy (CAS) procedures for investigation and remediation for the northern portion of the facility and to apply for a post-closure permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by December 31, 2012. For several months, Formosa had not complied with requirements of the existing 3008(h) and so an agreement was reached between Formosa and the EPA to amend and revise previously established deliverable dates for workplans that are crucial for the control and cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater….
Formosa has reported multiple volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including chlorinated hydrocarbons (EDC) and daughter products, chloroform, and benzene in the soil and groundwater above health-based risk levels in site investigations conducted from 1988 to the present. Most of the VOCs are carcinogenic or probable carcinogenic substances. Shallow contaminated groundwater is contained to some degree by groundwater mounding effects from a facility to the south. Since the most chlorinated hydrocarbons are dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), they are continuing to sink to lower layers of the Beaumont Clay formation. DNAPL has not been reported in monitoring wells because it is believed that the DNAPL is mostly adsorbed to the clay layers in the formation. There have been several reports over the operating period at the plant that described releases of chlorinated hydrocarbons to the nearby Cox Creek.” https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/case-summary-settlement-formosa-plastics-corporation-site-wide-corrective-actions-point
“Tuesday, September 29, 2009…..
The case was initiated as a result of inspections conducted by EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center at Formosa’s Point Comfort and Baton Rouge facilities. During the inspections, EPA identified extensive Clean Air Act leak detection and repair violations, including failing to properly monitor leaking components, failing to include chemical manufacturing equipment in its leak detection and repair program, and failing to timely repair leaking equipment. Inspectors also identified a variety of hazardous waste violations at both facilities.
In addition, the inspectors found that Formosa had violated wastewater discharge limits under its CWA permits, and, at the Texas facility, had failed to comply with the CAA benzene waste operations requirements and to submit correct toxic release reporting information to EPA.
The companies also have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2.8 million to resolve violations under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Under the agreement lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, both the Texas and Louisiana facilities will implement a comprehensive CAA enhanced leak detection and repair program, which goes beyond regulatory requirements by requiring more stringent leak definitions, more frequent monitoring and monitoring and repair of additional chemical manufacturing equipment. The leak prevention practices agreed to in the settlement include an innovative program to replace valves with new “low leak” valve technology, which will significantly reduce the likelihood of future leaks of air pollutants. The enhanced program also includes requirements for periodic audits of the companies’ leak prevention practices to ensure compliance going forward.
The enhanced leak detection and repair program will potentially reduce the annual volatile organic compound (VOC) air emissions from the two Formosa facilities by approximately 6,570,000 pounds per year of VOCs, including hazardous air pollutants such as vinyl chloride.” https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/formosa-plastics-corp-texas-and-formosa-plastics-corp-louisiana-will-spend-more-10-million
Noticeable ollution by Formosa Plastics in Texas appears still fairly routine, based on articles linked to the San Antonio Bay Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/San-Antonio-Bay-Waterkeeper-128611780622397/