We have been emailed several pictures from a user in Lochgelly, who wishes to remain anonymous, which highlights the concerns we have regarding inappropriate wind turbine development next to the Fife Ethylene Plant, and also echoes the concerns raised in the research paper, published by the University of Glasgow, which warns of the potential for pollutants to be dispersed in higher concentrations in the local area.

We have published the conclusions from two reports published by the University of Glasgow, as well as included the images below, which show the visible pollutants emitted from the Mossmorran plant this morning (10th September 2012). Thank you to the user for sharing the images with us and our members and visitors.

If you are concerned over any health impacts from the Fife Ethylene Plant, or the potential impacts on the Air Quality from the wind turbines interacting with pollutants from Mossmorran, please sign our petition, to have permanent Air Quality Monitoring Stations introduced into the local communities surrounding both developments.

All email addresses are kept private and will not be shared with any 3rd parties.

Air Quality Monitoring

We are deeply concerned that wind turbines around the Mossmorran complex may increase benzene (a known carcinogen) and other pollutants in higher concentrations in the local area, as identified in the research conducted by the University of Glasgow, putting the health of the surrounding communities at even greater risk.

Currently, one wind farm developer has to temporarily monitor Benzene & air pollutant levels, but this monitoring will only provide small reassurance and limited protections for the duration of the required monitoring. Mossmorran pollutant dispersal and flaring events do not happen on a constant basis, therefore, any benzene & air pollutant monitoring program on a temporary basis is useless, and only provides limited reassurances to the local communities affected, for the duration dates that the monitoring is taking place.

We, the undersigned, request that Air Quality monitoring stations are built in Lochgelly, Lumphinnans, Cowdenbeath and Auchtertool, to monitor Benzene & pollution levels from the Mossmorran plant for the lifetime of any wind turbines built around the Mossmorran complex. When all wind turbines are decommissioned, the monitoring stations should be left in place, until the Mossmorran complex is decommissioned. The placement of the monitoring stations, should be decided by the local communities, through extensive consultations with the public by the local authority or the Scottish Government.

All data collected by the monitoring stations should be made publicly available, online and offline, to allow individuals and other interested parties, to examine and monitor the situation on an ongoing basis.

This will help to clearly quantify the risks associated with inappropriate turbine placement next to industrial sites that disperse pollutants, and help provide reassurance that (a) the Benzene & pollutant risk is being taken seriously by the local authority and (b) the risk of benzene & pollutant poisoning is clearly quantified, openly and transparently.


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The velocity deficit downwind of the wind turbine influences the rate at which the plume propagates downwind, and results in an increase in the concentration of plume material (which may include pollutant gas and particulates) around the wind turbine…………environmental protection agencies are justified in their concerns regarding the placement of wind turbines near to industrial plants, and strongly suggests that the interaction between wind turbines and gas plumes should be investigated further in order to quantify clearly the risks associated with future strategies regarding the use of land near to industrial sites. 1

An acknowledged environmental concern is the effect of nearby wind turbines in modifying the dispersal of pollutants from industrial sites (plumes from flue stacks in particular)………Initial results show that even the dispersal of neutral plumes in idealised atmospheric conditions is influenced by the operation of wind turbines in close proximity. 2

The Lochgelly Community Council will be holding a public meeting at the Royal Oak Community Club on the 12th September at 7pm, please come along, raise your concerns and seek representation from our Community Councillors. If you cannot attend, but would like your issues raised, please leave a comment below, or contact us and we will raise the concerns on your behalf.


  1. Interaction of an Eulerian Flue Gas Flue Plume with Wind Turbines, Timothy M Fletcher and Richard E Brown, University of Glasgow, http://fifewindfarms.org.uk/wp-content/files/TMFLETCHERASME2010.pdf
  2. Interaction of an Eulerian Flue Gas Plume with Wind Turbines – A Computational Study, Dr Tim Fletcher, Professor Richard Brown, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Glasgow, http://www.admlc.org.uk/documents/Pres_8.pdf
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  1. David Ramsbotham

    September 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    As applicants can appeal to the Government to reverse local decisions we need to get it onside, as well as councils and others, if we are going to stop these wind turbines being built.

    Are you disillusioned by rising electricity prices, over dependence on the “green” dream [especially uneconomical and inefficient wind farms] and the destruction of our countryside then please object to the Government at


    or by GOOGLING “E-PETITION 22958” and following the link.

    Please pass this message on to Councillors, friends, neighbours and anyone else you know to persuade them to sign up too. If you are really concerned about wind turbines please write a letter promoting this petition to your local Newsletter and to the Editors of your local newspapers.


  2. Local Resident

    September 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I’ve witnessed the Mossmorran flare all my life, and can’t say I’ve seen such a dirty flame like this morning. What a black reek. God only knows what crap was put into our air. If it was a car I’m pretty sure it would fail it’s MOT.

    As for the wind turbines. I bet more than a few people got a shock at the size of them. Just wait until they start spinning. How annoying if they’re visible at the corner of your eye sitting in your house. I can honestly imagine there will be a flicker effect with he bright flare in the background. If there is, will the turbines be taken down? Will they f…

    My thoughts.


    • Lochgelly

      September 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Even we were shocked at the size of them, and that was with doing scale charts and photo montages, still didn’t expect them to be that big.

      Shadow Flicker in the evening during flaring is going to be an issue, another resident has expressed the same concerns, and god knows what other issues are going to emerge.

      Thanks for commenting.


  3. joyce wilson

    September 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    This is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg I am sure as these turbines keep spawning people will be horrified at the size, sclae and cost to us all.


  4. Fifer

    September 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I myself seen this flaring on my way to work on Monday.

    However I would like to point out the fact that the pictures published here appear to show the situation in an exaggerated form. It is quite clear there is actually fairly substantial distance between the flare and the wind turbines which is not shown here. This is great enough to more than likely allow whatever is coming out the flare to disperse into the greater atmosphere before getting anywhere near the turbines.

    My second point is this there seems to be a lack of understanding about wind turbines themselves. The position the turbines are in just now are not always the operating positions. They will rotate depending on wind direction. So you might actually find that they will not be in a position to apparently blow the flare plume at all.


    • Lochgelly

      September 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

      The wind that day was a mostly westerly wind, however gusts of wind were still blowing into the town, thus some of the pollutants would have been blowing towards Lochgelly.

      The turbines will never actually blow the pollutants, it is more to do with the air turbulence that the rotating blades will cause, if the plume coming from Mossmorran is blown anywhere near the wind farm due to atmospheric conditions, then the rotating blades will disrupt the wake of the plume, and distribute the pollutants in higher concentrations more locally. According to a presentation held by the Doctor and Professor responsible for the original research, this effect is an acknowledged environmental impact.

      You can view the full research at: https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/files/537261/strathprints027359.pdf and the update at: http://www.admlc.org.uk/documents/Pres_8.pdf.

      Placing the wind farm next to Mossmorran and the bypass, in our opinion is completely wrong, and we personally feel there will be issues for local residents facing the development, it also adds an unknown factor for the safety of the plant due to turbine blade failure, lightning strikes, and ice throw. However, even if the wind farm was not built, Mossmorran has been an ongoing concern for many local residents, and so simple things like permanent Air Quality Monitoring Stations should have been provided to the local communities, long ago.


  5. Helen Reid

    September 14, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    They’re horrible, I can’t believe how big they are! Dreading the sheer size of all nine of them, and when they start spinning. They’re too huge for the strip of land they’re in, and far too close to our homes. Flipping nightmare!


  6. disgruntled beath

    September 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Out of all the places they could have put the turbines why nest to the moss? I’ve had enough. The moss is bad enough. Fife Council should be ashamed for allowing this


    • Lochgelly

      September 17, 2012 at 8:16 am

      In defence of Fife Council, they did reject the planning application but it was overturned by the Scottish Reporter. Fife Council attached strict conditions regarding the pollutant levels and noise control limitations, but the developer appealed all of those, and they were upheld, so less restrictive conditions were put in place.

      The thing is, speaking to the developers, they claim there will be no noise pollution, yet West Coast Energy appealed all the conditions attached regarding noise pollution levels, the same with the pollution concerns. If there is going to be no problem, why spend more money to remove conditions that were meant to protect the local communities, unless they know there will be issues.


  7. Lochgelly Resident

    September 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    How come they are dumped in Lochgelly & Cowdenbeath? Was it not enough that we already live next door to Mossmorran! I hate the sight of these turbines, I can’t look out of my window without seeing them. What little countryside we had left seems to be destroyed now with these towering steel monsters. I’ve also had enough!Dual carriageway, cracker plant, (which nobody else in europe wanted) and now a wind farm. Our towns deserve some quality of life also!!!


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