SEPA needs to come to stay

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A meeting took place last week to once again try to convince SEPA and take up permanent residence in Grangemouth.

Representatives of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, including executive director Calum MacDonald and unit manager for Falkirk Kath McDowall, met with Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, Councillor Robert Spears and members of Grangemouth Community Council at Kersiebank Community Project.

Issues raised included noxious odours and a request for a SEPA officer to be based permanently in Grangemouth.

Mr Macdonald said: “I was pleased to arrange for Calum MacDonald and local SEPA officers to meet with Grangemouth Community Councillors to allow them to raise some concerns they have regarding industry in Grangemouth.

“An amicable and productive meeting resulted in SEPA proposing to come back to Grangemouth Community Council in late January with an action plan. We all look forward to progress in the coming months.”

Back in 2013 SEPA did establish a temporary office for officers in Grangemouth using Falkirk Council property, however, due to practical issues around data security and access to SEPA systems, it was found the officers were most effective working from their Stirling base.

Mr MacDonald said: “The purpose of the meeting was to listen to and discuss concerns about the impact of industry on local residents in Grangemouth. The community council gave an excellent presentation summarising their concerns and outlining their request SEPA establish a presence in Grangemouth.

“We have given a commitment to the community council and elected representatives to look at the feasibility of establishing a SEPA presence in Grangemouth, however, we have also agreed to work with Falkirk Council to consider additional proposals to ensure we understand and respond more effectively to community concerns on an ongoing basis.”