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04 June 2017Community request a permanent SEPA presence in Grangemouth

This subject was discussed at the meeting of the Parliament on 31 May 2017:

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Grangemouth)

Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) (SNP): 

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made following community requests to have a permanent Scottish Environment Protection Agency presence in Grangemouth. (S5O-01053)

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (Roseanna Cunningham): 

SEPA staff play an important role in regulating industrial and other activity in the Grangemouth area, supporting the health and wellbeing of local communities. Following discussion with the community council and local elected members, SEPA is considering the benefits and costs of establishing a Grangemouth site that can support the wider Stirling-based area team.

Angus MacDonald: 

The cabinet secretary will be aware that I recently facilitated a problem-solving partnership on the issue, involving SEPA, Falkirk Council and Grangemouth community council, and I am pleased to report that SEPA has engaged positively and proactively with the local community.

The Grangemouth community has lived cheek by jowl with the petrochemical and agrichemical industries for decades, and recognition must be given to that. Does the cabinet secretary agree that the Government and public bodies such as SEPA should properly acknowledge and consider the fact that there is a community of 18,000 people in Grangemouth, who all deserve 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?

Roseanna Cunningham: 

I welcome the action that Angus MacDonald has taken to enable the Grangemouth community to work in partnership with others to seek solutions. I am clear that the Scottish Government will place communities and environmental sustainability at the centre of our plans for economic growth. As Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, SEPA has a role to play in that, and I welcome Angus MacDonald’s recognition of its positive contribution. I know that he will continue to be actively involved and interested in the on-going conversations about SEPA having a base in Grangemouth.

 

The full minutes of the meeting can be found here.

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