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Mossmorran flaring ceases after latest incident angers communities

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Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran has stopped flaring hours after the latest episode caused anger among local communities.

Flaring at the Fife chemical plant started again on Friday morning, with residents reporting noise and vibrations.

The problem, blamed by plant managers on a “mechanical issue”, came less than two months after six days of flaring during which black smoke was seen belching from the site.

But Friday’s incident was more short lived, with ExxonMobil releasing a statement in the afternoon to say that “normal operations” had resumed.

Jacob McAlister, plant manager at Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP), said: “Normal operations have resumed at FEP after our team worked swiftly to resolve a mechanical issue which occurred earlier today.

“We fully understand any concerns and would like to reiterate our apology for any inconvenience caused in local communities.”

Furious locals reported their door frames shaking as a result of the flaring on Friday.

And local Conservative councillor Darren Watt said the flaring was causing more than inconvenience.

“The fact that ExxonMobil have once again apologised for inconvenience, proves to me once again that they simply don’t get it,” he said.

“Neighbouring communities don’t think this is inconvenient. It is however distressful, worrying and upsetting for many. If plant operators had bothered to turn up to the recent public meeting, they would have heard that for themselves.

“I am calling on ExxonMobil to stop ducking their responsibilities and take ownership in a public forum at the earliest opportunity.”

He added: “This latest unplanned flaring incident reminds us all that this ongoing saga surrounding the plant’s operations remains unresolved.

“Fife Council have called on the Scottish Government to commission an independent impact study and I encourage them to take this issue seriously and begin the necessary steps to get this study up and running.

“Local residents can no longer sit idly by waiting for the next unplanned flaring incident only to be given a meaningless apology and told they have nothing to worry about when it does flare.”

James Glen, chairman of the Mossmorran Action Group, which allows the public to share concerns about the 30-year-old plant, branded the new incident disgraceful.

“It’s another unplanned incident so soon after the previous one and residents have had enough,” he said.

The plant was the subject of an angry public meeting last month during which people said they had no trust in its operation following frequent bouts of pollution, noise, light and vibration.

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