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Nicola Sturgeon has told Kingdom FM News she has made no commitment to the provision of compensation for people affected by flaring at Mossmorran – but will consider the suggestion.
An NHS report released a week ago said residents near the ethylene plant had been subjected to physical and psychological disturbance as a result of unplanned flaring earlier this year.
The First Minister was asked at parliament yesterday, by Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell, if she believes those affected should be compensated.
Ms Sturgeon said she would consider the matter and look at the evidence presented by Mr Ruskell.
In an interview with Kingdom FM News afterwards, the SNP leader would not make any specific commitments at this stage.
She said: “Well, obviously, Sepa is working hard on that. I understand local concerns. We will consider anything we can do to support the local community and Roseanna Cunningham, the environment secretary, has been very closely involved and will continue to be so.
“I haven’t given a commitment to compensation – I’ll said I’ll consider all suggestions – but these are things that have to be carefully considered.”
During First Minister’s Question Time yesterday, she told Mr Ruskell: “We will always consider issues or suggestions like that. I certainly understand people’s concerns and anxieties about flaring.
“That is why the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has taken the issue so seriously and will continue to consider its options around enforcement action.
“Health impacts are of course very important, and we will consider the evidence that Mark Ruskell has mentioned carefully. We will do so in consultation with the local community, as we would always seek to do.”