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MSP Alex Rowley has repeated his call for an independent inquiry that looks at the condition of the plant following Tuesday night’s flaring and asking the question why does it keeps breaking down and what the impact is on the health and wellbeing of the people who live in the communities surrounding the plant.
He has also warned First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, not to play “cheap party politics with Mossmorran”.
In a letter to Ms Sturgeon, the Labour MSP said: “You stated (on Thursday) in an answer to a question from Annabelle Ewing that; “the operator must take all necessary steps to reduce the impact on residents and fully address their concerns”.
“I would repeat to you that there needs to be an independent inquiry that looks at the condition of the plant, why it keeps breaking down and what the impact is on the health and wellbeing of the people who live in the communities surrounding the plant”.
He also challenges the First Minster’s comments where she singled out an SNP member for raising the issues and told her she was wrong.
He wrote: “Your comments yesterday was your attempt to make cheap party political gain by trying to single out your own SNP member as having been at the vanguard of speaking up for these communities. “Apart from the fact you are wrong, I would remind you that whilst your elected members were enjoying the all expenses paid trips to Scottish rugby games in VIP surroundings and accepting the lavish free meals and bottles of whisky at top hotels, all complimentary of these companies, many of us were fighting for answers”.
He concluded: “I know that SEPA are due to publish the results of their “current criminal investigation into unplanned flaring” soon at which point I hope you and your Minsters will meet with myself, other politicians and the local action group to discuss the next steps”.
Ms Sturgeon said in answer to Annabelle Ewing’s question on Thursday that SEPA shared that disappointment at Tuesday’s flaring and are urgently seeking detailed information on this latest incident.
“The Environment Secretary spoke to SEPA and the Health and Safety Executive after the previous episode to understand the action that they are taking and I understand SEPA’s focus is to follow through on the requirements it has placed on the operator to reduce the frequency, and impact, of flaring.
“This involves major works at the plant and it will take time to see the full benefit, but I am absolutely clear that – and I agree with Annabelle Ewing on this – that the operator must take all necessary steps to reduce the impact on residents and fully address their concerns.”