ANGUS MACDONALD WELCOMES FIRST MINISTER’S COMMITMENT ON SEPA PRESENCE IN GRANGEMOUTH

Grangemouth Oil Refinery dusk with flare light

Following calls from the community for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to have a permanent presence in Grangemouth the Port’s MSP, Angus MacDonald, has welcomed comments from the First Minister at Thursday’s First Minister’s Questions (11/05/17) that “SEPA has agreed to consider the benefits and costs of establishing a Grangemouth site that can support the wider Stirling-based area team.”

The First Minister’s comment comes after local elected representatives (Angus MacDonald MSP, Councillor David Balfour and Councillor Robert Spears) along with Grangemouth Community Councillors met with SEPA and Falkirk Council to impress upon the environmental protection agency the need for a permanent SEPA presence in the town.

At FMQ’s the First Minister stated: “The Scottish Government is in regular contact with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to support its delivery of regulatory and other services, as well as the management of the SEPA estate.

SEPA staff are regularly present in Grangemouth as part of their duties to deliver regulatory functions. I understand that, following discussion with the community council and local elected members, SEPA has agreed to consider the benefits and costs of establishing a Grangemouth site that can support the wider Stirling-based area team.”

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday after the First Minister’s comments, Angus MacDonald MSP said:

“I’m delighted that there is progress towards having SEPA staff being based permanently in Grangemouth. I have been pursuing this issue for some time at senior Government level and with Directors at SEPA.

 "The First Minister is aware that I facilitated a Problem Solving Partnership recently involving SEPA, Falkirk Council and Grangemouth Community Council on this issue, and I'm pleased to report that SEPA have engaged positively and proactively with the local community.

“Clearly the Grangemouth community has lived cheek by jowl with the petrochemical and agri-chemical industries for decades, and recognition has to be given to that.

“Proper acknowledgment and consideration must continue to be made by the Scottish Government and public bodies such as SEPA that there is a community of 18,000 people living in Grangemouth who are entitled to continue to live in a healthy environment and that the town is not just an industrial cash cow to boost Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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