Mon 27 Jul, 2020

The communities impacted in Fife need a safer, cleaner future with new jobs in alternative industries, not be endlessly strung along by those who want to maximise oil and gas extraction, whatever the cost Mark Ruskell

Exxonmobil want to delay vital improvements at the Mossmorran plant in Fife designed to reduce the noise pollution suffered by local residents for eight months, the Scottish Greens have learned.

Communities in Cowdenbeath and nearby have suffered noise, light and air pollution for several years during flaring episodes which burns excess gas as a safety measure and can be seen right across Eastern Scotland. The operator has been given several warnings about the episodes by the regulator SEPA, who referred one incident to the courts.

Exxonmobil has said it will delay improvements to the plant because of coronavirus but now it has emerged the operator has requested to delay the fitting of a required noise reducing flare tip until August 2021. [1]

Commenting, Scottish Greens Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell said: “The delays to the investment programme at this plant because of coronavirus was unfortunate, but now we see the operator wants local communities to endure another eight months of pollution from this fossil fuel relic.

“SEPA are already seeking prosecution at the Crown Office, so you would have thought Exxonmobil would have at least been motivated by that to make vital improvements to its plant as quickly as possible. It claims safety concerns during the pandemic have led to the delays, but what about the safety of those who endure sleepless nights during flaring episodes? SEPA must hold firm and not allow any more than a couple of months delay to the completion of the flare tip upgrade.

“The communities impacted in Fife need a safer, cleaner future with new jobs in alternative industries, not be endlessly strung along by those who want to maximise oil and gas extraction, whatever the cost.”

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