SEPA have never used their full legal powers against Exxon-Mobil for operational failures and environmental damage because they judged that the operator was putting in place robust best-available techniques (BAT) for preventing emissions and impacts on the environment.
The current catastrophic failure of the plant shows the BAT process isn’t fit for purpose. SEPA should waste no more time in using the full legal powers at its disposal to hold Exxon-Mobil to account.
With over 50 reports of social impacts, and hundreds of reports on social media about acrid black smoke, huge flaring and roaring noise in the last 24 hours, it’s also high time the Scottish Government took its fingers out of its ears and took its responsibilities to the local community seriously. Instead of pacifying multinational corporate polluters, it should be installing permanent time-based air quality monitors and commissioning an independent study of the health and social impacts of the Mossmorran complex.