PRESS RELEASE ……………. For immediate release
COUNCIL AND ECOLOGY CENTRE COLLUDING WITH EXXONMOBIL TO EXPLOIT CHILDREN IN ‘DANGEROUS’ PR STUNTS
Fife Council and the Kinghorn Ecology Centre have come under fire from the Mossmorran Action Group for working with ExxonMobil to involve children in onsite PR initiatives at the Fife Ethylene Plant, Mossmorran.
FEP is operated by ExxonMobil and is identified as a top-tier COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) site by the Health & Safety Executive for processing ‘dangerous and toxic substances’ with the potential for a ‘major accident’ (1).
James Glen from the Mossmorran Action Group said:
“According to HSE, access to the site is strictly controlled. This rule does not appear to apply for local primary school children who are being ferried to the plant for “pond-dipping”, which is in reality a shameless PR exercise by ExxonMobil.
Fife Council documents warn of many potential emergency scenarios at Mossmorran including Vapour Cloud Explosions, Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Cloud Explosions, major fires with high levels of thermal radiation, asphyxiation, and the formation of large toxic clouds. (2)
It beggars belief that parents aren’t fully informed of all the potential major accidents and risks facing their children when they attend these workshops at what is a highly toxic and potentially very dangerous site.
A number of parents have withdrawn their children from the trips, and some have contacted to say they won’t allow any future trips (3). ExxonMobil refused pointblank to come to a public meeting to hear about how their recent emergency flaring caused our children terrified, sleepless nights, yet they want us to send our children to their plant and pretend everything is green and lovely.
The Ecology Centre supply the tutors for the pond-dipping the children carry out, but they do not declare ExxonMobil as a funder or partner on their website. This is not surprising, given ExxonMobil’s record as Scotland’s third biggest polluter and CO2 emitter and a major international promoter of the oil and gas industry (4). If this is not at odds with the Ecology Centre’s mission, what is?
Fife Council recently condemned Mossmorran for the unacceptable impacts of flaring on local people and called for compensation from the operators. Yet it is happy to collude with ExxonMobil and see Fife schoolchildren exploited in its risky PR stunts.
If ExxonMobil really cared about the environment, our children, and local education, they would hold workshops at the well-loved but under-used Gelly Loch, Lumphinans Pond, or the Meedies. This would provide a much safer environment for children and would encourage much-needed investment into neglected local amenities.”
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(1) HSE, public information record for Fife Ethylene Plant Mossmorran – https://notifications.hse.gov.uk/COMAH2015/PublicInformation.aspx?piid=2388
(2) Fife Council C.O.M.A.H. Off-Site Contingency Plan (obtained via FOI), Section 2, p12-p16 – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/33964/response/89377/attach/4/COMAH%20Generic%20Plan.pdf
(3) Facebook Group managed by Mossmorran Action Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/mossmorran/
(4) The Ferret, Named: the ‘dirty dozen’ companies that pollute Scotland – https://theferret.scot/dirty-dozen-companies-pollute-scotland/