Following publicity in the Courier, community campaigner James Glen has welcomed indications by SEPA and local politicians that they will address residents’ concerns about adverse impacts from the Mossmorran petrochemical plant while warning that the community has had enough after 29 years of inaction.
Mr Glen, who has been campaigning with other volunteers through the Loch of Shining Waters community website for air monitors to measure pollution from Mossmorran since 2011, said:
“I had an encouraging meeting on 20th September with two SEPA representatives at an affected resident’s home. My aim is to get SEPA to conduct continuous noise monitoring at two residences in Lochgelly and one in Auchtertool during the current shutdown of Mossmorran. As yet, there has been no final agreement from SEPA to do so as they are “currently collating other data that has been collected” and have agreed to share this data together with their conclusions next week.
“Both the local MP Roger Mullin and the constituency MSP Annabelle Ewing have been separately in touch with me about Mossmorran following the Courier publicity and I am meeting them in the coming week.
“I will be raising multiple issues connected with Mossmorran, but I will also be asking our representatives what solutions can be put in place to lessen or remove some of the negative impacts, and where they cannot be satisfactorily dealt with, what pressure can be brought to bear on the operators to ensure that communities and residents are compensated.”
Following the Courier publicity, MSP Alex Rowley said that he was seeking assurances from SEPA that they are monitoring the site for noise and pollution, adding that the Cowdenbeath Area Committee have in the past looked at emissions from this site and have heard from the site itself, NHS Fife and SEPA.
Mr Glen said that “assurances” would not be enough after 29 years of assurances from various bodies, not least from Mossmorran’s PR department, while communities have been forced to suffer adverse impacts without mitigation or compensation.
In his own blog, Mr Glen highlighted how Mr Rowley and Cowdenbeath Area Chair Cllr. Mark Hood have failed to be pro-active in addressing residents’ concerns about Mossmorran’s impacts, including the 2015 SEPA noise report which clearly documented multiple serious breaches of noise guidelines.
He has also called for local representatives on both Fife Council and affected community councils to cease accepting gifts and lavish hospitality from Mossmorran’s operators as this “undermined trust” in them. Mr Glen said a “decades-long culture of gift-taking” had contributed to a reluctance by local representatives even to speak about residents’ multiple concerns about the plant’s adverse impacts.
Mr Glen, a former chair of Lochgelly Community Council, added: “Lochgelly’s current community council has failed to inform residents of the planned flaring, and is generally impervious to residents’ concerns about damaging pollution from the facility. This does not sit well when certain members of all local community councils are known to have accepted gifts and hospitality from Mossmorran in the past and are making no declarations about current transactions.”
Mr Glen added: “The flaring has been among the worst we’ve ever known. The light and noise disrupts sleep, and you see lights on in Lochgelly from residents not sleeping through the early hours of the morning. After 29 years of inaction, Mossmorran’s neighbours are sick fed up being told there’s no problem.”