Original Source: Source link
THE operators of the Fife Ethylene Plant have underlined their determination to continue to offer children valuable learning opportunities through their special pond at Mossmorran.
This follows strong criticism from a Fife Councillor of her views of their risk assessment levels.
Councillor Linda Holt, a member of the Mossmorran Action Group said: “ExxonMobil and Fife Council have shown a frightening level of complacency by insisting – against HSE advice – that a classroom teacher’s generic risk assessment offers children visiting Mossmorran adequate protection.
“Since early summer, publicly and privately, I have raised parents’ concerns about their children visiting Mossmorran with Fife Council officers and the co-leaders.
“Time and again, my concerns about poor generic risk assessments and a lack of information for parents, especially given the dangers presented by a gas leak at the time, were met with denial and waved away as scare-mongering”.
She added: “Now because a concerned parent complained to HSE, the regulator has told Fife Council in no uncertain terms that their risk assessments are not good enough and they can no longer keep parents in the dark.
“Fife Council owes me, the Mossmorran Action Group and parents who have been rightly worried about the safety of their children on school trips to Mossmorran, an apology. It is the height of irresponsibility to say that because nothing has happened on a school trip up to now, the plant is perfectly safe.
“Skimping on risk assessments, denying the public information and dismissing people’s worries about Mossmorran is the typical PR strategy of ExxonMobil.
“The public have lost confidence and trust in Exxon as a result, and Fife Council should be very careful about making the same mistake.”
Stuart Neill, external affairs manager for Exxon Mobil said: “We welcome the HSE’s considered comments.
“We have safely run our environmental pond programme for over 20 years and have seen more than 20,000 local school children benefit from this insight to environmental science.
“We will embrace any recommendations from the HSE that help to further strengthen our risk assessment process.
“It is unclear what this campaign group is seeking to achieve on this issue, but we would be disappointed if their over-stated language resulted in future generations of school children being denied the same valuable learning opportunities.”