Original Source: Source link
Environmental protection officers have received more than 380 complaints following unscheduled flaring at the Mossmorran chemical plant.
The flaring is due to a compressor fault with work underway to resolve the unscheduled flaring.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said that it received reports of flaring at the ExxonMobil plant shortly after 3.30am on Sunday.
SEPA said it was awaiting a full detailed report on the cause of the flaring which was visible from Edinburgh.
READ MORE: Environmental officers sent to Mossmorran after unexpected flaring
ExxonMobil tweeted: “As our team undertakes the safe re-start of our compressor, you may see some fluctuations in our elevated flare tonight.
“We will continue to minimise the size of the flare wherever possible and apologise again for any frustration caused by this work.”
Chris Dailly, head of environmental performance at Sepa, said: “Whilst its again important to stress that limited, controlled flaring is an authorised and important safety feature of industrial sites, we’ve heard clearly from over 380 reports to Sepa of the impact this further flaring event is having on local communities.
“Having referred ExxonMobil Chemical Limited to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) for consideration of prosecution related to Easter 2019 flaring, we remain frustrated by the frequency of flaring and the flow of information from the operator.
— Neil McRobie (@nmcrobie) October 5, 2020
“We are investigating whether there has been a breach of permit conditions which would inform our next steps in line with our published Enforcement Policy.
“We are clear on our expectations of the operator, including requiring the installation of noise reducing flare tips followed by the installation of ground flares.
“Moreover, the operator must take steps to make flaring the exception rather than routine and if they will not, Sepa will consider further options to ensure they do so.”
Yesterday Jacob McAlister issued a community update saying that the faulty part of the compressor had been replaced and that operators are “working round the clock” to restart the machine.
Tonight’s Mossmorran flare is one of the worst ever. Utterly unacceptable that the residents should have to put up with this ongoing saga night after night.
— Liz Smith (@MspLiz) October 5, 2020
Liz Smith, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife tweeted: “Tonight’s Mossmorran flare is one of the worst ever. Utterly unacceptable that the residents should have to put up with this ongoing saga night after night.”
READ MORE: Mossmorran: Warning ExxonMobil could lose licence amid public inquiry calls
— Maurice Golden MSP (@mgoldenmsp) October 5, 2020
Maurice Golden MSP also tweeted: Mossmoran flaring over Edinburgh tonight. Is this the image of Scotland the SNP want to send out to the world ahead of #COP26?”
Fife Councillor Darren Watt said: “Once again, residents throughout the area are subjected to horrendous noise and light pollution because of yet another major operational failure by ExxonMobil.
“This is unacceptable and their predictable assurances are quite frankly meaningless.
“Actions ultimately speak louder than words and they consistently fail to alleviate people’s legitimate fears and concerns about the plants overall safety and viability.”
He added: “Furthermore, this latest malfunction comes just days after the future of Mossmorran was discussed at the Scottish Parliament and only strengthens critics argument that the plant is simply no longer fit for purpose and transition away from its current operations is absolutely paramount.
“Local communities aren’t asking for much. They just want ExxonMobil to be a more responsible and considerate neighbour but continue to be let down resulting in further erosion of trust.”