New season of "Dirty Money" to examine Formosa's role in Point Comfort

Formosa's Point Comfort facility is the subject of an episode in the new season of Netflix's "Dirty Money," premiering worldwide on March 11. 

Formosa’s Point Comfort facility is the subject of a documentary in the new season of Netflix’s “Dirty Money,” premiering worldwide Wednesday.

Directed by Margaret Brown, ‘Point Comfort’ was shot in and around the city for several days, Brown said.

Created by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and produced by Jigsaw Productions, “Dirty Money” is a six-part, provocative and controversial documentary series focused on exposing greed, crime and corporate corruption. The first season was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Documentary Award.

Netflix has described the ‘Point Comfort’ episode as a deep dive into one of the world’s biggest plastic producers, though it is unclear how balanced the narrative will be.

“This story is a tale of corporate, regulatory, industry and scientific malfeasance,” the production company said. “It challenges deeper assumptions taken for granted – that our FDA is there to protect us, that the EPA knows what it’s regulating, and that the plastics in our lives are actually making our lives easier.”

Production took place before the multi-billion dollar company was brought to trial in Victoria by private citizens, where a federal judge ruled that its Point Comfort facility had violated the Clean Water Act for discharging plastic pellets and powders into nearby waterways, Brown said.

Brown did not want to give too many spoilers, but shots of plastic pellets, the facility and Cox Creek are in the official trailer, as well as Joe Wyatt Jr., a former state representative and U.S. Congressman from Victoria, in what appears to be his home.

Environmental activist Diane Wilson is in the documentary. She has challenged Formosa for years and was a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, which ended with a $50 million settlement and zero-discharge agreement.

The director was drawn to the project by her interest in plastics, she said.

“I have always been interested in plastic and the place it plays in our lives,” Brown said. “We use it for many things (and) depend on it, but what is it? What are the risks of using it?”

Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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