Independent Alliance TD for Longford/Westmeath, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.
New flood defence measures including a package of €260m by the Government for 8,000 homes in the region was announced last week.
Minister of State for the Office of Public Works & Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD said the impact of flooding to the economy and the public could not be overstated.
He also said that the evidence from the CFRAM Programme indicated that it would be possible to protect approximately 95% of properties now assessed at risk from significant flooding.
“A programme of flood defence schemes is already underway at various stages of design, planning or construction,” he added, before pointing to the fact that upon completion the current programme would provide protection to approximately 12,500 properties.
“A further 11,500 properties could be protected by the delivery of the new feasible schemes that have now been proposed in the Plans.”
Meanwhile, the Minister said that OPW had submitted CFRAM Plans to the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform for an independent review of the environmental assessments carried out as required for each Plan.
“I intend,” Minister Moran continued, “to seek approval for the final Plans in early 2018 and once approved I will announce a prioritised initial tranche of schemes contained within those Plans to be advanced to the more detailed project level of assessment.”
The Minister said that based on the requirements arising from the existing programme of capital works and the structural measures proposed in the Flood Risk Management Plans, the OPW has identified the need for significant further investment in flood defences over the next 10 years, subject to the normal Estimates process and the outcome of the forthcoming 10 Year Capital Investment Plan (2018-2027).
“We are committed to ensuring that flood risk management continues to receive priority attention across the whole Government sector and we will continue to work closely to ensure the planning and delivery of flood relief solutions is achieved in the shortest possible timeframe.
“We are seeing major progress being achieved and we will continue with our endeavours in addressing the problem of flooding nationally,” Minister Moran concluded.
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