A group monitoring air quality around Mossmorran is considering ‘revising’ its role to include noise and light pollution.
People living in Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath are concerned it is impacting on their health.
The review group formed 28 years ago to look at the plant’s emmissions, but say there are now other issues needing to be monitored.
On Friday, Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, held a roundtable meeting involving the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Independent Air Quality Monitoring Review Group, chaired by Professor Wilson Sibbett, of the University of St Andrews.
The monitoring group was set up to give advice and recommendations to Fife Council about the monitoring of air emissions arising from the operations at the Mossmorran plants and the Braefoot Bay terminal facilities.
Professor Sibbett said: “The question we have to ask ourselves is this: Is our remit today still the right one?
“Community concerns cover a different range of issues than those of previous decades, namely light pollution and the noise and vibration that is associated with the flaring process and, arguably, our overview function could perhaps be extended to allow for assessment of the impact of these factors in addition to air quality.”
Air Quality Reviews are published annually and, in a bid to address public concerns after the flaring incidents last year, SEPA now carries up-to-date information on its online ‘Mossmorran Hub’ page.
Representatives agreed to individually review their current practices and then report their findings at a follow-up meeting, which will be opened up to include cross-party political representation and wider community representation.
Pending the outcome of an ongoing SEPA investigation into prolonged flaring periods at Mossmorran in 2017, Ms Laird said residents deserved clear information:
“During flaring episodes last year, some residents’ lives were impacted severely, with some describing the light pollution at night as being like living next to Mordor in the Lord of the Rings.
“People living in the Mossmorran area feel they have more questions than answers and that situation cannot be allowed to continue.
“This meeting is the start of a process which, hopefully, will result in improved and more direct communication with the public; communication which provides up-to-date information when flaring occurs, provides reassurance regarding health concerns and, last but not least, what steps can be taken to minimise flaring in the future.”