Mossmorran neighbours ‘at wits’ end’ over plant flaring – Auto Republish


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Community campaigners say people are at their wits’ end over the latest bout of flaring from the Mossmorran plant.

Mossmorran Action Group said people were struggling to sleep due to the light and rumbling from the site near Cowdenbeath, which is restarting following months of closure due to failed boilers.

It also hit out at the information provided by operator ExxonMobil Chemical and environment watchdog Sepa during the restart process, saying people were “afraid and sceptical” about what they were being told following previous episodes.

James Glen, chairman said: “Both the ground flares and elevated stack have been blazing their utmost for days now, but all residents are being told is that Exxon is trying its best and Sepa is monitoring.

“This is not good enough.

“Exxon and Sepa are putting out regular PR but this is nothing but a sop for residents who have effectively been abandoned to suffer the impacts of extreme flaring.”

He demanded more information to be shared with the public about timelines for the restart of Fife Ethylene Plant and flaring requirements.

Mr Glen added: “After what the Health and Safety Executive termed two catastrophic boiler breakdowns last August, resulting in explosions Exxon kept schtum about, people are naturally afraid and sceptical.

“The suspicion inevitably arises that once again the extended period of extreme flaring is because things have not gone according to plan.”

In its latest community update on Friday ExxonMobil said that since it had “moved safely through the key stages” of its restart, the aim now was to restrict operations to the ground flare as much as possible, with fluctuating use of the more disruptive elevated flare.

An ExxonMobil spokesman said: “We are taking the time required to conduct a completely safe re-start and to continue to reduce associated flaring levels.

“We have actively provided updates to communities using a range of different channels and will continue to do so.

“Our team are committed to minimising concern or frustration for local communities.”

Roseanne Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, told the Scottish Parliament Sepa was in the final stages of its investigation into flaring which provoked a raft of complaints in April last year.

She said: “The current focus is on completing a safe restart of the plant while minimising the impact on the neighbouring communities.

“Sepa will be in a position to conclude its investigation once the start of the restart of the plant is concluded.”

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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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