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PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release

Lochgelly community campaigner James Glen is seeking action from SEPA to monitor noise levels from the petrochemical plant Mossmorran after claims of unacceptable excessive industrial noise levels from daily plant operations and the recent unplanned and planned flaring events.

Mr Glen expressed concern that SEPA has been dragging its feet over dealing with the noise issue. He said:

SEPA have known since 2014 that residents are faced with regular exposure to elevated sound levels after conducting continuous monitoring from a property in Lochgelly for 22 days.

During August 2014 a SEPA investigation discovered that World Health Organisation guidelines for community noise were breached 19 times out of 22 during the daytime, and 11 out of 21 times for night-time noise levels. In addition, several breaches were noted to DEFRA’s criterion curve for the assessment of low frequency noise.

The report by SEPA acknowledged that the community was suffering excessive noise levels but could not determine whether Little Raith Wind Farm, the A92 or the Mossmorran complex was ultimately responsible.

Mr Glen added:

The recent planned and unplanned flaring exacerbates the noise problems residents face. Regular exposure to noise like this can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance, yet very little has been done for over a quarter of a century to protect residents from this public nuisance.

We know people in Lochgelly are being exposed to excessive noise, but SEPA has been powerless to act because it doesn’t know who the culprit is. The planned shutdown of Mossmorran presents SEPA with a golden opportunity to conduct in-depth noise monitoring to establish Mossmorran’s contribution to overall noise impacts in the area.

Mr Glen, who is meeting SEPA representatives at one of the affected residences on Tuesday, is requesting SEPA undertake noise monitoring at three homes, with two located within Lochgelly and one at Auchtertool.

Mr Glen added:

It is a no-brainer for the noise monitoring to take place during the planned shutdown of Mossmorran. Residents have come forward to assist SEPA and I hope SEPA will grasp this opportunity.

The Mossmorran facilities suffered a “process upset” on the 14th September before a planned shutdown on the 16th September and have warned residents that during the 3-week closure there will be ongoing flaring.

Flaring since the 14th has been continuous until the 18th, creating orange skies which have prompted comment on social media from across Fife, Dundee and Edinburgh.

End Notes:

T: 01592 782 150

Email from SEPA rep: Stuart Anderson to resident 25th November 2015 given update on Noise Monitoring (PDF)

SEPA Noise Report: Indoor Assessment of Environmental Noise at South Street, Lochgelly, From 15th August to 5th September 2014 – Daytime breaches (page 6), Night-time breaches (page 7), conclusions (page 31)

Email to SEPA: Requesting noise monitoring (PDF)

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Tech geekery, blogging, volunteering, graphic/web design, photography, digital activism and community-based campaigns are some of the things that I am passionate about.

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