Photo by Diane Wilson and San Antonio Bay Estuary Waterkeeper, Plastic Powder from Formosa Plastics in Cox Creek, Lavaca Bay, TX
Embarrassed by Diane Wilson and San Antonio Bay Estuary Waterkeeper's litigation to clean Texas waters, TCEQ began a rulemaking process to clarify how microplastics, as well as macro- and nano-plastics, are to be regulated in the Lone Star State. See below for links and comments from industry and advocates.
Among the comments relevant to public lab's microscope project, the Texas Chemistry Council has stated that the definition of "visible" pollution be limited, although nano-plastics, and many micro-plastics, would not then be visible to "ordinary" persons.
"We would recommend that "visible" be defined with reference to the following definition "visible to the naked eye as able to be seen by an ordinary person under normal observation conditions without special equipment" as defined by Merriam-Webster."
I would sincerely hope that TCEQ can function to the extent that "ordinary" persons not have to view nano-plastics at all! That is entirely the problem. Keep the plastics pollution among us stranger persons, please. My hope is that, one day, plastic pollution is something reserved for arcane practitioners only.
Coastal Bend Surfrider would seem to agree:
"The term "visible" should not be included in the definition of plastic. Micro- and nanoplastics too small to be visible with the naked eye have been proven by numerous scientific studies to be harmful to the environment and human health. There is currently not enough research and data on microplastics, but we know that plastics can cause negative human health impacts including DNA damage, endocrine disruption, cancer, and diabetes when ingested."
Plastics - Prohibition in Wastewater Permits
The TCEQ proposes to place a prohibition in wastewater permits for facilities which handle plastic resin pellets generated at organic chemical manufacturing facilities, or packaged and transported to processors for molding into plastic products. This proposal does not include post-consumer refuse such as plastic bottles, straws, or bags. This topic was discussed in the Surface Water Quality Advisory Workgroup (SWQAWG) Stakeholder Meeting held June 29, 2020 and June 30,2020.