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Residents fear plant’s impact on health  

Credit:  By Peter Swindon | The Courier | 11 January 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

Campaigners calling for permanent air quality monitoring stations in towns surrounding a Fife chemical plant have released early results of a local consultation.

The survey set up by volunteers who run community website Loch of Shining Waters asks residents who live near the Mossmorran plant if they are concerned about their health and safety.

More than 100 people have completed an online questionnaire about the site. Almost half are Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath residents, while the remaining respondents live in nearby villages.

More than 75% say they have fears about health and environmental impacts, while 60% are worried about safety at the plant.

Three quarters of respondents report noise and light pollution, while almost half say they have felt vibrations in their homes.

James Glen of Lochgelly Community Council said: “We were surprised at how many people are concerned over their personal health, health of their family and health of the local community from potential impacts from the plant, and due to the high number of health concerns, we firmly believe that further independent studies need to be conducted in the local areas to fully assess and quantify any potential health risks from the operation of the plant.”

Mr Glen has led calls for permanent air quality monitoring stations after a study by Glasgow University warned of “an increase in the concentration of plume material (which may include pollutant gas and particulates) around the wind turbine”.

Kennedy Renewables recently erected nine 410-feet turbines near the ethylene plant, while Airvolution Energy has the green light to erect a further two turbines.

The facility, which transforms natural gas from the North Sea into ethylene, is jointly run by two giants in the industry – Shell and ExxonMobil Chemical.

A Shell spokeswoman said: “At Shell, safety is our number one priority. We value all feedback received from our local communities, businesses and the authorities and we encourage them to share any concerns or issues they may have.”

ExxonMobil Chemical declined to comment.

The survey is ongoing and can be completed by visiting the Loch of Shining Waters website at lochgelly.org.uk.

Source:  By Peter Swindon | The Courier | 11 January 2013 | www.thecourier.co.uk

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