Details of the recent emergency at Mossmorran, triggered by Shell, is beginning to emerge and local councillors Darren Watt and Mary Lockhart have issued public statements in support of residents.

On Sunday evening 18th June after 7pm, residents were shocked to see the plant emit black smoke from the main flare stack. It has been reported that another unrelated process upset at Shell triggered a knock-on effect with the operations at ExxonMobil resulting in the sudden release of toxic smoke. The event was widely captured in images and videos by residents and shared on social media.

SEPA representatives have been in contact with both operators and will be meeting with them at a meeting due to be held this week. The meeting will discuss last weeks flaring event and the additional incident impacting on residents.

SEPA are planning to provide an official update and statement later this evening via the social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

An announcement in todays Courier newspaper spotlights that residents are forming a Mossmorran Action Group to attempt to address local issues, with the group raising concerns that some “councillors are inert on this major issue” and that the corporations have “run roughshod over our local communities for years”.

Local councillor Mary Lockhart has taken to Facebook to address some local concerns saying:

“in addition to calling for a full air quality monitor and assessment, I am asking for an inspection at the plant itself, and will ask for a social impact assessment on the lives of residents of the surrounding area. Because this is about more than data, and more than occasional breaches and fines, and more than money, and more even, than the 280 jobs at Mossmoran – which i think it IS vital to protect. It is about people, and their quality of life, and our communities, on whose doorstep we have had theis now elderly plant since 1985.”

Councillor Darren Watt for the Cowdenbeath ward said on Facebbook:

“Thank you to everyone getting in touch and raising your concerns. I am also very concerned with the ongoing flaring and have been in touch with Mossmorran this morning. I certainly won’t be satisfied with another generic public statement and will seek clear and definitive answers to your specific questions. I will keep you updated.”

ExxonMobil has issued a response with a generic apology and assurance that the plant will return to normal operations within 36 hours, claiming there is no risk to local communities and workers. Councillor Watt added:

“I’m far from happy with their response”

Both Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath Community Councils have remained silent on the issue.

Admin Note: If anyone has any concerns or complaints to make, please contact SEPA on 0800 80 70 60, calls are logged and creates a paper trail of the local concerns. The more calls they receive the better mandated they are to address local concerns.

Photo Credit and Copyright: Paul Irvine

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