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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-12285: David Torrance (Kirkcaldy)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 31 October 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with ExxonMobil Chemical regarding the recently-reported prolonged flaring caused by a gas leak at the Mossmorran petrochemical plant, and what action it has taken and plans to take to ensure that the operator has robust contingencies in place so that (a) such incidents do not pose a risk to people living and working in the vicinity of the plant and (b) any disruption to communities arising from unplanned incidents is minimised.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 7 November 2017

With respect to environmental legislation, ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd at Mossmorran in Fife is regulated under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (PPC) by SEPA. Its staff have been liaising directly with the company during the recent controlled shutdown and restarting of the process. Both of these activities can be associated with flaring and are necessary for safe operation of the site.

SEPA has been contacted by members of the public and elected representatives who have expressed their concern at the light, noise, vibration and potential health impacts as well as asking what was being done to investigate and monitor the situation. Updates were provided by both the company and SEPA during this event. For SEPA, this has included responding to individuals in the local community.

It is a requirement under PPC that an incident report is provided to SEPA by the company. When received, this will be reviewed by SEPA who will identify actions to reduce the need to flare and to minimise the impacts on the environment and local people.