Tue 25 May, 2021

Not only have the people of Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly been subject to the most appalling light and sound pollution, their toxic neighbour has also been emitting dangerous hydrocarbons too. Mark Ruskell

Dangerous hydrocarbons released by the ExxonMobil plant at Mossmorran show an urgent need for government intervention, the Scottish Greens have said.

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson and Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell has called on the new Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero Michael Matheson to take urgent action over the Fife plant after it emerged a second public body have called for a prosecution following breaches of regulations at the site.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have submitted a formal report to the Procurator Fiscal over leaks of hydrocarbons at the plant in 2019. 

HSE list adverse health effects associated with a single exposure to hydrocarbons are asphyxiation, narcosis (ie depression of the central nervous system; anaesthesia) and cardiac arrest.

The report follows a similar report submitted by Sepa in July 2020 calling for prosecution in relation to flaring at the Mossmorran complex during April 2019.

Mark Ruskell MSP said: “Not only have the people of Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly been subject to the most appalling light and sound pollution, their toxic neighbour has also been emitting dangerous hydrocarbons too.

"This is the second time in less than a year that a statutory body has recommended ExxonMobil face prosecution for their clear disregard for environmental and safety standards at Mossmorran, and it raises serious doubts about the operator’s commitment to even the most basic compliance issues.

“With that in mind, it’s clear they cannot be left to their own devices when it comes to tackling the climate emergency. This plant remains Scotland’s third biggest industrial emitter, and we can no longer trust Exxon and Shell to come up with their own plans for decarbonisation if we are to have any chance of meeting our goal of net-zero by 2045.

“The new Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Michael Matheson, needs to address Mossmorran as a matter of urgency, and show leadership on this crucial issue. Decarbonisation within the next decade must be a condition of allowing the plant to continue operating.”

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