A Fife MSP has called for greater transparency at the Mossmorran Ethylene Plant in Fife as new figures reveal a huge increase in flaring at the site since 2008.
Mark Ruskell, Green Party MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, voiced his concern as the latest Mossmorran plant flaring data, made public by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) this week, reveals a whopping 364 per cent increase in flaring at the controversial site since 2008.
Latest statistics show the incidents of flaring at the plant have gone up from 39 in 2008 to 181 in 2016, with the total volume of gas flared going up by over 10,000 tonnes.
This comes on the back of data released earlier this year which showed the plant is now the second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in Scotland following the closure of Longannet power station.
Flaring at Mossmorran has come under renewed scrutiny this year following prolonged periods of unplanned flaring in June and October.
“This is the first time this flaring data has been made public and it makes for sobering reading for communities,” Mr Ruskell told the Press.
“SEPA and the plant operators have repeatedly said flaring is part of the routine process at the plant, but when a ‘routine process’ increases over fourfold in less than a decade there are some serious questions that need answering.
“Burning off gas in such a visible way is obviously going to raise concerns about air pollution and climate change emissions, but on top of this local people repeatedly report to me the disturbance in their lives caused by noise, vibrations and light pollution during flaring incidents.
“I welcome this better data on flaring, but what we need to see next is a more focused assessment of how these wider impacts are affecting local communities.”
Mr Ruskell has repeated his call for more transparency at the plant and has added that better liaison with the surrounding communites was vital.
SEPA has come under renewed pressure in recent weeks for not having completed investigations into unplanned flaring in June. It has since launched a second investigation into October flaring.