FLARING has been something that has been part of Mossmorran since the gas plants there were being commissioned more than 30 years ago.

It all started with the Shell NGL facility and then the Exxon Ethane Cracker came on stream and its big high stack was soon lighting up the sky.

Once the plants opened and went into production flaring lessened greatly, with little at all from the Shell plant and occasional bursts from the Exxon/Mobil operation.

There have been periods when 'turnarounds' and breakdowns at the Cracker have led to periods of intense flaring which have concerned local communities, but the company has also stressed that flaring is about safety.

However, the recent incidents have led to communities and politicians along with NHS Fife becoming increasingly concerned.

MSPs Alex Rowley and Annabelle Ewing are seeking answers as are the health board while some residents are planning to set up an Action Group, so it now seems that flaring is something which is now not simply going to be accepted with the nod of heads.

The fact is that flaring is a safety mechanism at both plants but it is causing real worries and perhaps the time has come for more assurances to be given the people of the surrounding area.