Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (206, 207, 208)

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

210 Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when he expects the Office of Public Works catchment risk assessment and management study to commence; the areas within the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council that will be included as part of this study; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35440/12]

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Paschal Donohoe

Question:

211 Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the funding requests he has received from Dublin City Council to date in 2012 in respect of the flood risk management allocation 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35441/12]

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Paschal Donohoe

Question:

212 Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide a report into the discussions he has had to date with representatives from the Irish Insurance Federation; if these discussions have included areas of inner city Dublin where residents are unable to acquire home insurance, or flood insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35442/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Expenditure)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 to 212, inclusive, together.

The Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Studies (CFRAMs) are now underway with engineering consultancy firms appointed to undertake the studies in six catchment areas covering the whole country. The Eastern CFRAM, which covers Dublin City, is currently being progressed by the consultants. The study will examine the following areas within the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council:

(1) Areas that flood from the following rivers: Liffey; Camac; Poddle; Santry; Lower reach of Nanekin; Lower reach of Elm Park Stream; Furry Glen stream and the Zoo Stream.

(2) Areas that flood from the coastline, including the Liffey Estuary and Dublin Bay. In addition to the above areas in Dublin City, the following areas will also be examined: Clontarf; Lucan to Chapelizod; Raheny and Santry. The study will also review the outputs of the Dodder and Tolka CFRAM studies which also cover parts of Dublin City Council's area.

To date in 2012, one funding application has been received from Dublin City Council under the Office of Public Work's (OPW) Minor Flood Mitigation Works Scheme. The application sought funding of €225,000 to undertake works to alleviate flooding from the Camac River at Lady Lane, Carrickfoyle Terrace and Millbrook Terrace. Following an assessment of the application, the funding sought was approved in May, 2012. The progression of the works is a matter for the Council.

In relation to the difficulties some people may be experiencing in obtaining insurance cover for flood risk, I and officials in the OPW have had discussions on this with the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) and some of the larger insurance companies. The focus of the discussions to date has been on agreeing a general format for providing information on flood defence works rather than looking at specific areas.

The industry has indicated to me that the incidence of households or businesses being refused cover or being charged excessive premiums is marginal and that where it arises the causes are complex with each case being assessed in light of the particular circumstances applying. The OPW and the IIF are keen to establish a sustainable means of sharing information on areas vulnerable to flooding and on identifying flood defence works carried out or funded by the OPW and the impact of those works in reducing the risk of flooding in areas where flooding previously occurred. The OPW has provided some information to the IIF but work is ongoing to clarify a number of issues with a view to agreeing with the IIF a viable basis on which information can be provided. There are complex technical issues involved concerning the design standards and risk levels of defence works and maintenance arrangements. My officials will continue to work with the IIF to finalise matters as soon as possible.