A JOINT investigation has been launched today (Friday) into the operators of Mossmorran due to unplanned flaring at the site.

Both ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd and Shell UK Ltd will be investigated by SEPA and the Health and Safety Executive.

The move follows the serving of final warning letters to both companies in April, after 'preventable and unacceptable' unplanned flaring during June last year.

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA chief executive, said: "Every day, SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and compliance with Scotland’s environmental rules is simply non-negotiable. 

“We were clear that unplanned flaring in June 2017 was preventable and unacceptable and we issued final warnings to both companies in that regard. 

"Despite that, communities have endured further unplanned flaring in October, March and again in May.

“We’ve listened carefully to community calls for a root and branch review and today’s announcement of a joint investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) & the Health & Safety Executive will examine issues at both sites.

“But more than that, in April we promised a review of operating permits. Operating permit variations will be served on ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd and Shell UK in the next week. These permits are legal documents which set out what each operator must do under law. 

“It’s right that people want to know more about October, March and May flaring incidents. That said, people want action not words which is why I’ve come personally to explain why these incidents remain under investigation and why we need to avoid prejudice to future enforcement action.

“We’re listening to the community and it’s important the companies do too."