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Community update on Mossmorran flaring

30 April 2019
On Saturday 27 April, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency was informed by ExxonMobil Chemical Limited that elevated flaring had ceased.  
 
The update followed the announcement by SEPA on Thursday 25 April 2019 of a formal regulatory investigation into the flaring from the Mossmorran petrochemical plant in Fife.
 
SEPA continued its full operational response including regulatory, air quality and noise monitoring across the weekend, which will inform the agency’s live regulatory investigation. 
 
SEPA published a summary of the air quality monitoring conducted on Easter Monday and a further update of the ongoing monitoring results will be published in the coming days.
 
A ‘Final Warning Letter’ was issued to ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd in April 2018 regarding flaring which was found to be “preventable and unacceptable”.
 
In addition to SEPA and Health and Safety Executive investigations in 2018/2019, a tightening of permit conditions and an instruction to conduct a ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT) assessment, SEPA will confirm receipt of the BAT assessment this week. 
 
ExxonMobil committed to working closely with SEPA on the assessment and, following technical review of the proposals, SEPA will provide an update on the assessment ahead of a planned community meeting, which SEPA will attend, on Friday 17 May.
 
SEPA Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn and ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd Plant Manager, Jacob McAlister, held an initial discussion yesterday morning (Monday 29 April). 
 
Mr. A’Hearn confirmed the ‘live’ regulatory investigation, obtained confirmation that the company would submit its ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT) assessment this week, and urged the company to further engage with local communities directly.
 
In addition to its community update, SEPA today provided a further update to elected members.
 
Over 927 complaints have now been received to date by SEPA’s 24 hour Pollution Hotline, one of the highest number for any single event.
 
SEPA will continue to make information available as quickly as possible, within the constraints of protecting evidence in a live regulatory investigation, on our dedicated online hub, www.sepa.org.uk/mossmorran.
 
Further information

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), in addition to other public agencies, is jointly responsible for the regulation of ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell UK Limited at Mossmorran.
 
This newsletter is part of SEPA’s commitment to update local communities on our formal regulation and review of unplanned flaring at the Mossmorran complex.

Further information on our investigation, our findings, our actions and next steps is available on SEPA’s dedicated Mossmorran hub at www.sepa.org.uk/mossmorran.
 
The hub also contains information on common questions including:
  • Who SEPA is working with regarding Mossmorran.
  • Information related to monitoring activity.
  • Why the flaring occurs.
  • What the constituents of the flare are.
  • What restrictions are applied.
  • Why smoke can be produced.
  • Health impacts and other local factors.
For further questions, please email community@sepa.org.uk  - this account is monitored weekdays during office hours only.
 
Thank you, and remember SEPA’s 24 Hour Pollution Hotline is available on 0800 807 060 and is available to report environmental incidents, with information on how and what to report at www.sepa.org.uk/contact/
 
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Copyright © 2019 Scottish Environment Protection Agency, All rights reserved.


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