Campaigners to form action group over Mossmorran health fears

© DC Thomson

Formation of an action group to tackle issues around Mossmorran chemical plant was announced amid claims of severe disruption to local residents.

Flaring at Fife Ethylene Plant near Cowdenbeath lit up the sky last week, with the flame visible from as far afield as Angus and East Lothian.

Many who live nearby have complained the noise is so excessive their homes are vibrating and that they have been unable to sleep due to rumbling and light.

The flaring is due to a process upset and operator ExxonMobil Chemical Limited said it was an essential part of the safety system and posed no danger to the public or employees.

However, some local people are concerned that light and noise pollution from the process could impact on people’s health.

James Glen, of community group Loch of Shining Waters, said: “Our board members have been working with individuals in Auchtertool and Lochgelly and reaching out to residents in the Cowdenbeath and Lumphinnans area to form an action group to better represent residents and seek redress for some of the long-term negative impacts caused by operations at Mossmorran.

“Some within our communities are concerned that councillors are inert on this major issue, and feel that the corporations have run roughshod over our local communities for years.

“ExxonMobil deny there are any health impacts, yet offer no definitive study to back-up their claims.

“The corporation and some of our elected apologists focus solely on air quality impacts and ignore the immediate and measurable impacts from the noise, vibration and light pollution that residents are forced to endure with little respite and no compensation.”

Ann Livingstone, of Lochgelly, said: “There has been a constant loud noise and vibration rumbling in my house from this plant since Monday.”

On Wednesday last week she said it escalated to the point the house was vibrating.

She said: “The whole place is lit up. We all work and are unable to sleep at night. My whole family have suffered from headaches and earache and are generally unwell.

“We have suffered in silence for long enough now and something should be done.

“This is not accepted in other countries and people are compensated appropriately.

“I just want an uninterrupted night’s sleep and my health or my family’s health not to suffer.”

ExxonMobil Chemical has already apologised to the community for any inconvenience or concern and offered assurance that it aimed to keep flaring to a minimum.

The flare stack is known is a safety defence for refineries and petrochemical plants to allow extremely flammable hydrocarbons to be vented out safely.