Reacting to news in the Sunday Herald of breaches of Health and Safety rules at Ineos’s Grangemouth plant, with pollution performance classes as 'poor' three years in a row, Mary Church, Head of Campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“Ineos have a string of safety breaches including lack of controls to prevent toxic chemical leaks, failure to protect employees and inspection failures that could have led to a major accident. Even more alarming, Ineos’s safety record in recent years has been worse than previously. Instead of wasting money on corporate roadshows to sell fracking to communities Ineos should be putting its resources into employing enough maintenance staff and improving the safety of the plant.

“Communities will be looking at Ineos’s poor record at Grangemouth when they judge for themselves the trustworthiness of the company’s claims that fracking is safe.”

Ineos are announcing details of their plans for community engagement on Tuesday. The Sunday Herald gives details of what may be to come and the PR companies they are employing. Mary Church commented:

“It’s no surprise that Ineos are resorting to flash London-based spin-doctors to try and lovebomb Scottish communities into stop worrying and love fracking. Sadly Ineos have the budget for a long and dirty fight, while community and campaign groups can only fight their corner on a shoestring.

“No amount of slick roadshows are going to allay the concerns of communities who have heard about the reality of the impacts of this industry in the USA and Australia. Their PR spin can't hide the climate change impact of exploiting shale gas.

“We are convinced that when Scotland has had a proper look at the health and climate concerns around unconventional gas the moratorium will swiftly become a permanent ban, just like in New York State. Ineos is pouring its money down the drain trying to sell fracking in Scotland when it’s never going to happen anyway.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. The Sunday Herald: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/revealed-the-catalogue-of-health-and-safety-breaches-by-ineos-at-grangemouth.120661768 and http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/revealed-energy-giants-plans-to-lovebomb-scotland-into-backing-fracking.120661235
2. Ineos have previously announced payments for communities who would accept fracking http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/ineos-fracking-community-bribes
3. Ineos have previously said that the future of Grangemouth plant is secure for the next 15-20 years: Interview with Ineos Director Tom Crotty (ICIS 10/3/15) http://www.icis.com/resources/news/2015/03/10/9866975/uk-shale-gas-setbacks-due-to-election-vital-for-economy-ineos/#
(The Scotsman 17/2/15) http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/ineos-in-grangemouth-tell-workers-future-is-secure-1-3692327
4. Scottish Government declared a moratorium on fracking and unconventional gas 28/1/15 http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/fracking-moratorium-scotland
5. Ministers have “completely oversold” the potential of shale gas, energy experts say. BBC 11/12/14 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30013668
6. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 74 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk