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THE two gas plants at Mossmorran will have to stick to their compliance regulations during SEPA suspending their normal scheme.
Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell has said Mossmorran will not be left off the hook for environmental compliance during the Coronavirus lockdown, despite SEPA suspending their national compliance scheme.
Speaking after a meeting with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Mr Ruskell said that monitoring of air pollution and other compliance is still ongoing, with SEPA ready to step in if more flaring at the site occurs.
Mark Ruskell said: “I was very concerned with SEPA announced recently that they’re suspending their national Compliance Assessment Scheme due to coronavirus.
“With people spending much more time at home, it’s more important than ever that people feel safe in their homes, can sleep easy at night, and aren’t exposed to air pollution.
“However, SEPA have reassured me that suspending the national scheme won’t impact on the way they are monitoring Mossmorran. Pollution readings can still be taken remotely, and the plant operators will still be required to report back to SEPA in the usual way.
“They have also said they are ready to roll out noise monitoring if there are any incidents of unplanned flaring during lockdown, and still have the ability to take any enforcement action if necessary”.
The MSP added: “The planning application currently with Fife Council for a new flare tip at the Ethylene Plant should hopefully reduce the disruption residents experience during flaring, but the plant operators still need to have a wider conversation with residents about plans to install more ground flares, and what this might mean for the future of the site.”
Stuart Neill, external affairs manager with ExxonMobil said: “Fife Ethylene Plant continues to work to the highest regulatory standards, which are in no way compromised by SEPA’s temporary revision to some procedures within its regulatory regime.
“Robust and transparent monitoring continues unchanged, with the latest SEPA monitoring report, published just last week, again confirming that all measurements were ‘low’.
“The Mossmorran facility is an integral part of Scotland’s energy supply where teams continue to work every day to safely meet the needs of homes, hospitals, care homes and businesses nationwide. Furthermore, the Fife Ethylene plant is directly supporting the manufacturing supply chain for critical medical supplies and food packaging.”
Both Shell and Exxon/Mobil have stressed that both intend to maintain the highest of standards during the suspension of SEPA’s compliance scheme.
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