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AFTER sustained flaring last night, which could be seen from Dundee to Portobello in Edinburgh, residents in communities in the immediate vicinity of the Fife Ethylene Plant vented their fear and anger on social media.
Chair of Mossmorran Action Group, James Glen, the community group which campaigns to protect communities near the plant, said: “Tonight’s flaring is absolutely unacceptable.
“Residents feel utterly abandoned by the Scottish Government and SEPA. Our Facebook page and twitter feeds have blown up. People are petrified, they can’t breathe properly, they are worried sick about the pollution spewing from the plant and they have been left completely in the dark about what is going on.
“SEP’s response has been pitiful. They knew this flaring was coming but they don’t even have bodies on the ground monitoring, their monitoring equipment broke down for 16 days last month and they only measure for the size of particles emitted in a couple of locations, not the particular carcinogenic pollutants being flared out.
“Ministers are in hiding and have consistently refused to come to the area to hear from local communities and applaud the ExxonMobil’s investment in the plant, investment which became inevitable after “catastrophic breakdowns” last August forced the ethylene plant to shut down for six months. “Residents did not get a break, however, because the gas coming from the North Sea could not be shut off and had to be flared off continually by Shell.”
SEPA stress that their monitoring activities are in full swing in sites around the complex and they are watching every step of the re-start process while Exxon’s plant manager stated this week that the Start-Up process was in its closing stages and there would be use of the flare stack to ensure safety.