Mossmorran Unplanned Flaring Update : 20:00 Monday 05/10/20

  05 October 2020
“Whilst its again important to stress that limited, controlled flaring is an authorised and important safety feature of industrial sites, we’ve heard clearly from over 380 reports to SEPA of the impact this further flaring event is having on local communities. “Having referred ExxonMobil Chemical Limited to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) for consideration of prosecution related to Easter 2019 flaring, we remain frustrated by the frequency of flaring and the flow of information from the operator. “We are investigating whether there has been a breach of permit conditions which would inform our next steps in line with our published Enforcement Policy."

MOSSMORRAN UPDATE : 20:00 MONDAY 05/10/20

Having received reports of elevated flaring at the ExxonMobil Chemical Fife Ethylene Plant shortly after 3:30am on Sunday, SEPA officers have remained in contact with the site over the period.

Whilst SEPA awaits a full, detailed report from the operator on the cause of the latest flaring incident, the operator has indicated a compressor fault.  The operator has advised that they are currently working to re-start equipment and that flaring is expected to continue overnight.  Fluctuations in the elevated flare may occur as the process restarts.

SEPA’s four remote monitoring points around the site, at Lochgelly, Auchtertool, Donibristle and Little Raith continue to capture data and specialist scientific and environment protection officers continue to deploy to record community impacts and gather information, data and evidence.

We continue to do so to determine whether there has been a breach of permit conditions and what our next steps should be in line with our published Enforcement Policy. Whilst monitors continue to demonstrate no breach of air quality standards*, officers continue to note impacts on local communities.  

SEPA will continue to provide updates on social media and sepa.org.uk/mossmorran
We urge the public to report community impacts at SEPA.org.uk/report

Chris Dailly, Head of Environmental Performance at SEPA, said:

“Whilst its again important to stress that limited, controlled flaring is an authorised and important safety feature of industrial sites, we’ve heard clearly from over 380 reports to SEPA of the impact this further flaring event is having on local communities.

“Having referred ExxonMobil Chemical Limited to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) for consideration of prosecution related to Easter 2019 flaring, we remain frustrated by the frequency of flaring and the flow of information from the operator.

“We are investigating whether there has been a breach of permit conditions which would inform our next steps in line with our published Enforcement Policy.   

“We are clear on our expectations of the operator, including requiring the installation of noise reducing flare tips followed by the installation of ground flares.  Moreover, the operator must take steps to make flaring the exception rather than routine and if they will not, SEPA will consider further options to ensure they do so.

“Updates will be available on social media and sepa.org.uk/mossmorran and we urge the public to report community impacts at SEPA.org.uk/report

 

* Published at sepa.org.uk/mossmorran