THE packed public meeting on Friday night at Lochgelly Town Hall called by the Mossmorran Action Group showed the strength of concern that the events of the Easter weekend and days that followed really did pose real concerns in the minds of people living in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area.

Occasional flaring from the petrochemical plants has been something that has gone on for over 30 years.

But over the past three years when faults in the systems at the Fife Ethylene Plant have caused spectacular activities which are so very visible over a very long distance.

However, the point brought out on Friday was about the level of noise that accompanied the flaring which lasted well into the week.

The new manager at the FEP has made it plain that it is their aim to reduce flaring in the way ahead but the people who were at the meeting hope that it does not happen at all soon.

Members of Cowdenbeath Area Committee were told four years ago that the Fife Ethylene Plant was one of the most efficient operations of its kind in Europe. And when it works away on the fringes of the area’s big towns, possibly for months on end without the least sign of flaring, it kind of goes out of people’s mind that the happenings of the Easter weekend can occur.

There is no doubt that ExxonMobil are keen to stop flaring happening, as it is an expensive issue for them and if they are successful everyone will be happy.

It may be that over the next couple of years flaring will fade into history and if that is so then the people of the area will be much more at ease.

SEPA has been criticised for their part in what has been going on but at the end of the day their hands are somewhat tied

The real answers will come from Exxon/Mobil's progress on reducing flaring.