Since flaring last summer, SEPA have been conducting an investigation into the series of events, which caused significant concern in the communities surrounding the Shell and Exxon Mobile operations. The SEPA investigation concluded in April by issuing the plant operators a final warning. The investigation concluded the flaring was unplanned, could have been prevented and went on for too long while noting the use of occasional flaring remains an appropriate and necessary management practice in exceptional circumstances. The notice requires the operators to take action to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence and varies the permit under which the plant operates.
SEPA have also noted that while evidence to date suggests no negative impact on air quality to the local communities, they will be implementing increased levels of monitoring over the next few months to ensure assessments of air quality are as accurate as possible. In addition to this, the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Independent Air Quality Review Group, on which Cllr. Barratt sits, has discussed the increasing the group’s scope to include wider environmental impacts such as vibration.