What an absolute nonsense for Roseanne Cunningham as Environment Secretary to say it would not be “appropriate” for her to meet with constituents affected by flaring and pollution from Mossmorran.
Her ostensible reason is that SEPA is conducting inquiries which may lead to enforcement actions in court.
But constituents want to speak to the Minister because SEPA’s record in, and scope for, getting the operators to reign in their flaring, measure the impacts and mitigate them has been so utterly inadequate. SEPA is always “investigating” some incident or other.
SEPA’s role is limited to monitoring licence conditions for the plant, and does not include powers to investigate the full range of health, social and environmental impacts caused by Mossmorran.
Has Ms Cunningham had legal advice that she should not meet residents whose health is being harmed by the plant because of the risk of compromising action by SEPA? Will she share that advice?
Does the same prohibition apply to her and other senior members of the Government meeting, or rather being lobbied by, Shell and Exxonmobil, Mossmorran’s operators?
With maintenance so or at the plant so poor that Exxon has had to shut down for months, unprecedented levels of emergency and planned flaring, and the Mossmorran Action Group’s online map showing 340 separate complaints by residents, the Scottish Government owes Fifers a hearing.