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Texas Firm to Pay EPA's Highest Penalty

A SOUTH Texas plastics company Wednesday was fined $3.4 million for contaminating soil and groundwater in the largest penalty ever collected by the Environmental Protection Agency for hazardous and solid waste violations. Formosa Plastics Corporation, of Point Comfort, settled with the EPA on the fine and agreed to set up a $1 million trust fund for environmental education and improvement in the area, the EPA's Dallas office said. The company must pay the fine within 21 days.

``Today, corporations know, or soon will learn, that environmental protection is a major part of doing business,'' EPA Regional Administrator Robert Layton said in a statement.

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The plant, in operation since 1980, makes plastics in a process that produces two hazardous wastes.

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