Mossmorran Unplanned Flaring: Sunday 04/10/20

  04 October 2020

SUNDAY 04/10/20 : UNPLANNED FLARING

MOSSMORRAN UPDATE : 20:30 SUNDAY 04/10/20

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 across the day.

SEPA’s four remote monitoring points around the site, at Lochgelly, Auchtertool, Donibristle and Little Raith continue to capture data and  environment protection officers have deployed to record community impacts at five locations surrounding the site. 

Whilst monitors continue to demonstrate no breach of air quality standards*, officers continue to note noise, light and vibration impacting local communities.  

With no firm indication as yet from ExxonMobil Chemical Limited of the cause of the flaring other than ‘a trip on one of our machines’, or further information on expected duration, specialist officers remain deployed this evening gathering information, data and evidence.

We 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.  We will provide updates as soon as further information becomes available.

Updates will be available on social media and sepa.org.uk/mossmorran

We urge the public to report community impacts at SEPA.org.uk/report

* Published at sepa.org.uk/mossmorran

MOSSMORRAN UPDATE : 13:30 SUNDAY 04/10/20

At circa 3:30am on Sunday morning, SEPA received reports of elevated flaring at the ExxonMobil Chemical Fife Ethylene Plant.

Whilst limited, controlled flaring is an authorised and important safety feature of industrial sites, we understand the very real potential for community impacts and are assessing whether there has been a breach of permit conditions.

In addition to our four monitoring points around the site, SEPA officers have deployed to record community impacts at five locations surrounding the site. Officers have noted community noise and monitors continue to demonstrate no breach of air quality standards*.

Whilst there is no indication yet of the cause of the flaring or expected duration, officers will provide updates as soon as further information becomes available.

Chris Dailly, SEPA’s Head of Environmental Performance said:

 "Whilst limited, controlled flaring is an authorised and important safety feature of industrial sites, we know it has been happening too often at Mossmorran and the community impacts are often significant. That’s why we have referred ExxonMobil Chemical Limited to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) for consideration of prosecution related to the Easter 2019 flaring event and why we have required the installation of noise reducing flare tips by 8 May 2021 followed by the installation of ground flares.

"Whilst we don’t know yet from the company the cause of the latest flaring or expected duration, we will provide further updates as soon as further information becomes available. 

"In addition to our fixed air quality and noise monitoring points across the area, officers are deployed to record community impacts at five locations surrounding the site.  Officers have noted community noise impacts and our monitors continue to demonstrate no breach of air quality standards*.  Our work now across the incident will determine whether there has been a breach of permit conditions and what our next steps will be in line with our published Enforcement Policy.

“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

*sepa.org.uk/mossmorran

MOSSMORRAN UPDATE : 09:00 SUNDAY 04/10/20

SEPA is responding to unplanned flaring from ExxonMobil Chemical Limited at the Mossmorran complex in Fife, which started in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Whilst flaring is an important safety mechanism for facilities like those at the Mossmorran complex, we are working with the site operator to understand the cause of the incident.

The site operator has confirmed engineers are on site and they are working with the neighbouring site to increase use of the ground flare and minimise the impact on the community from the elevated flare.

SEPA Officers have been deployed and will be in the area to assess impacts on local communities. Fixed air quality and noise monitoring remains in place.

Members of the public who are concerned about a potential pollution issue are encouraged to contact our pollution hotline using our online reporting form (sepa.org.uk/report). This is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Exxonmobil has issued a community statement and is sharing updates from their twitter channel.