The OPW is the lead State body for the management of flood risk in Ireland. The Arterial Drainage Acts (ADA) 1945 and 1995 provide for drainage schemes, with the OPW as competent authority and DPER as consent authority. Primary legislation has been subject to a number of amendments, providing for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of flood relief schemes.
EU Directive 2011/92 obligates the consent authority (DPER) to undertake an independent assessment of the Environmental Impact Statement for flood relief schemes prepared by the OPW. EU Directive 2014/52 which harmonises the EIA process and brings about additional appropriate assessment (AA) responsibilities to the consent process for flood relief schemes is aimed at providing a high level of protection of the environment and human health. The Directive was recently transposed into Irish law in November 2019 under S.I. No. 472/2019 - Arterial Drainage Regulations (EIA) 2019.