Air monitoring equipment in place as Mossmorran flaring scheduled to start – Auto Republish

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Monitoring equipment is in place to analyse air quality as flaring starts at Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) today.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said it will operate from the start of the flaring period at sites in Auchtertool.

The location was chosen as it aligned with the forecast wind direction for the week.

Sepa officers will also visit the local area to assess the impact and noise monitoring will be carried out.

It will provide an update on the initial findings of the air monitoring once data has been collated and analysed.

Meanwhile, the short notice given by ExxonMobil to the planned maintenance work has come under fire from two politicians who have called for the global giant and neighbours Shell to make planned shutdown schedules available.

Labour MP Lesley Laird said the short notice showed there was still work to be done when it came to communication, trust and confidence.

“The plant’s rushed community statement on Sunday is out of kilter with the normal notification process for shutdowns, and the updated flaring statement suggested this maintenance was initially rushed and not thought through in terms of the best way to mitigate its impact on the community,” she said.

“Communication around two other recent flarings still showed gaps in terms of how the company gets its message out in a timely way.”

Green Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell said there was a series of steps Mossmorran operators needed to take if they want to be good neighbours.

That includes publishing a maintenance schedule for the plant so communities can be prepared.

“We know that there will be times when emergency maintenance needs to take place, but routine maintenance work is often planned months, if not years, in advance,” he said.

FEP external affairs managed Stuart Neil insisted its process advising the public of planned flaring had remained consistent.

“Following feedback from members of the local community, we have also endeavoured to be as transparent as possible which is why we issued the initial statement at the earliest opportunity.

“Far from being ‘rushed’, we work fast to identify any risk, mitigate and plan for required action.”

“We always optimise our work plans to reduction in flaring against our number one priority – safety.

“This is why we took the additional action that will further reduce flaring volumes.

“We believe this is the right and responsible thing to do, and so we are disappointed it is being viewed in a negative way.”

Shell Fife NGL plant manager Teresa Waddington said: “We know that good communication is an important part of being a good neighbour.

“We want to continue to have an ongoing conversation with our community and the authorities.

“We will continue to share what we can and ensure those who are interested are aware of our plant activity.”

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Resident-led action group seeking redress from the long-term social, health and environmental impacts from the Mossmorran facilities in Central Fife operated by ExxonMobil (Fife Ethylene Plant) and Shell (Fife NGL).


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