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Corpus Christi Polymers desal plant faces opposition

Corpus Christi Polymers at the Port of Corpus Christi in early 2022. CCP might have to renew a wastewater discharge permit with the state of Texas to move forward with plans for a desalination facility. Many in attendance at a recent public meeting showed strong opposition. Courtesy photo

At a recent meeting of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, board members heard vocal opposition to a desalination facility that Corpus Christi Polymers wants to build and operate near its plastics plant at the Port of Corpus Christi.

The facility would emit 38.5 million gallons of treated wastewater per day. At issue is the renewal of a wastewater discharge permit, one of two authorizations needed for state approval.

TCEQ hosted the public forum at the Holiday Inn/Airport in Corpus Christi on Feb. 23 at the request of state Rep. Abel Herrera (D-Robstown). Most of the three dozen people who attended expressed opposition to the facility and its permit renewal. TCEQ is considering whether to renew the discharge permit because it issued it to the previous owner, M&G USA Corp., which later went bankrupt and was sold to Corpus Christi Polymers.

In a letter written to TCEQ in late 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited three concerns regarding the permit:

More measures are needed to prevent marine life from entering the plant’s discharge system.

Additional monitoring of dissolved solids, chlorides, and sulfates is needed.

A salinity limit should be included in the permit.

According to the state agency, the first two issues have been mostly addressed. The third remains unresolved.

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