Grangemouth councillor takes Ineos pollution complaints to SEPA

Grangemouth Councillor David Balfour has taken residents’ complaints from yesterday’s black cloud outage from the Ineos plant to environment watchdog SEPA

Sunday, 21st April 2019, 1:58 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st April 2019, 2:19 pm
This picture, supplied by a reader, shows the scene yesterday afternoon.

Pictures on social media show thick black smoke spewing from chimneys at the plant, while Ineos fought for hours to bring the fumes under control.

The firm issued a further statement yesterday evening warning that efforts to control the emission from two chimneys could continue into the night shift.

Ineos apologised to residents after a black cloud of fumes hung over the area for several hours yesterday afternoon, sparking fears of unacceptable levels of pollution.

The company described the emission as “an unplanned outage”.

It has apologised for any inconvenience caused.

Commenting on social media, Councillor Balfour said yesterday: “I have contacted SEPA on behalf of concerned constituents that have contacted me and complained about the thick black smoke Ineos is pumping out today.

“Please feel free to also contact SEPA on 0800 80 70 60 and log a complaint”.

Meanwhile Councillor Balfour has received a letter from Ineos about concerns raised about an alarm sounded for a mustering exercise at the plant last week.

The firm, apologising for “the concern and disruption” caused, told him it accepts it should do more to let local people know an exercise is about to happen.

It said: “The mustering exercise used a local alarm, which wouldn’t normally be particularly noticeable beyond the confines of the Refinery.

“On this occasion, because of the easterly wind, it was audible to some of our neighbours.

“This has highlighted that the local alarm, while much quieter, can sound similar to the community wide alarm.

“While this isn’t something we can fix in the short term, we will be looking into ways to address it.

“Because it is used in response to less serious incidents, the local alarm is not followed by an all clear.

“We are currently developing a Petroineos website and we are looking at the potential to include information on the alarms we use on site.”