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Climate campaigners are hoping to raise £10,000 in a bid to ‘shut down’ a controversial Fife chemical plant over persistent flaring incidents.
Climate Camp Scotland announced plans to occupy the site outside the Mossmorran Ethylene plant this summer in the latest round of protests against operators ExxonMobil and Shell.
The organisation – which has close links with Extinction Rebellion – voted to set up camp on the petrochemical giants’ site during a long weekend in June or July over the firms’ ‘refusal’ to act on the burning of excess gas from the facility.
READ MORE: Warning ExxonMobil could lose licence amid public inquiry calls
The plant was forced to suspend operations in August after hundreds of locals lodged complaints over ‘unplanned flaring incidents’ which sent thick plumes of smoke across Fife.
Its restart was delayed until January, however local residents say the flaring has ‘rarely subsided’.
Nicola Sturgeon warned ExxonMobil could be stripped of its licence to operate the plant after being quizzed by MSPs at First Minister’s Questions last week.
The flare has previously been compared to the ‘Eye of Sauron’ from the Lord of the Rings series.
Activists now want to take further steps after accusing the Scottish Government of ‘failing to act’ on the incidents.
A Go Fund Me page aimed at raising money to support the protest has now been set up.
The website states: “The climate crisis is the biggest issue of our time, and the main driver of climate change is fossil fuels. Without shutting down fossil fuel corporations that continue burning oil, coal and gas for their short-term profit, climate breakdown cannot be stopped.
“Help us shut them down.
“Residents suffer from flaring coming from the plant, where Shell and Exxon burn excess gas that they can’t sell. The flares, noise and shaking disrupt sleep, cause headaches and migraines, stress and anxiety for the local population, with concerns of what the long-term impact will be for the most vulnerable in the community.
“Shell and ExxonMobil are ignoring demands from the local community, and the government refuses to act.”
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) launched a probe into unplanned flaring at the plant last Tuesday.
READ MORE: Exxonmobil under fire as SEPA probes flaring at Fife chemical plant
The watchdog said a “trip of a major compressor” was to blame for the flare shooting into the sky – despite upgrades totalling £140 million being carried out in recent months.
Edinburgh residents reported being able to see the flames more than 50 miles away.
The regulator received an “unprecedented” 600 complaints about the event.