Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cohesion Fund.

Avril Doyle

Ceist:

1 Mrs. Doyle asked the Minister for the Environment whether his Department has submitted a specific plan for drawing down moneys from the Cohesion Fund; the projects, if any, which were included; whether they were assessed; and if he will give details of the programme for spending this money.

Eamon Gilmore

Ceist:

28 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment if he will give details of the uses to which the EC Cohesion Fund is to be put; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 28 together. Following is a tabular statement setting out the roads and environmental projects in respect of which Cohesion Fund assistance is being sought. The individual projects have been selected on the basis of various criteria, including the social, economic and environmental benefits involved. Projects for the period 1994 to 1999 will be included in the National Development Plan, which is being compiled at present. As indicated in the reply to Question No. 168 on 9 March 1993, I will not be in a position to confirm the projects to be part-funded by the Cohesion Fund in 1993 until the 1993 programme is approved at EC level.

Water and Sanitary Services

Project

County

Dublin Sewerage (Ringsend)

Dublin

Dublin Sewerage (Howth)

Dublin

Cork City Main Drainage

Cork

Mitchelstown Sewerage

Cork

Midleton Sewerage

Cork

Leap Sewerage

Cork

Galway Main Drainage

Galway

Westport Sewerage

Mayo

Ballinrobe Sewerage

Mayo

Limerick Main Drainage

Limerick

Ennis Main Drainage

Clare

Inagh Sewerage

Clare

Wicklow Sewerage

Wicklow

Bray (Esplanade) Sewerage

Wicklow

Clonmel Sewerage

Tipperary

New Ross Main Drainage

Wexford

Enniscorthy Main Drainage

Wexford

Wexford Main Drainage

Wexford

Muinebheag Sewerage

Carlow

Tramore Sewerage

Waterford

Waterford Main Drainage

Waterford

Drogheda Main Drainage

Louth

Dundalk Main Drainage

Louth

Edgeworthstown Sewerage

Longford

Athy Sewerage

Kildare

Robertstown Sewerage

Kildare

Dublin Water Treatment Plant and Distribution Network

Dublin

Limerick Water Supply

Limerick

Lough Mask RWS (Claremorris, Ballindine)

Mayo

Tuam Regional Water Supply

Galway

Roads

Project

County

Route No.

Northern Cross

Dublin

N1/EO1

Lucan/Kilcock (Contract 2)

Kildare

N4

Longford By Pass

Longford

N4

Drumsna/Jamestown

Leitrim

N4

Sligo/Collooney

Sligo

N4

Merlin Park/ Ballybane

Galway

N6

Arklow By Pass

Wicklow

N11/EO1

Killarney Road Interchange

Wicklow

N11/EO1

Integrated Network Improvement

Solid Waste

Project

County

Ballymount Waste Facility

Dublin

Muingnaminnane Landfill

Kerry

Environmental Protection Agency

Project

County

Establishment of Headquarters

Wexford

May I ask the Minister what role he envisages the NESF will have in relation to decision-making on the distribution of the Cohesion Fund generally and will environmental NGOs be represented on the NESF?

This year the allocation from the Cohesion Fund amounts to about £120 million in total. In order to get the maximum possible draw-down for 1993 we must proceed at full speed. About £18 million of that money will go to my Department to be used for transport and environmental projects. Examinations have to be undertaken. The cost-benefit analysis which was necessary has been completed in the context of road projects and is in the process of completion in relation to environmental projects. Consideration will be given in the next couple of weeks as to who will be consulted in relation to the national plan. This is not a matter on which wider-ranging consultation could have been contemplated within the timescale for 1993.

When does the Minister envisage a start on some of the Cohesion Fund projects in view of the fact that the Maastricht Treaty has not yet been ratified by all 12 member states? Perhaps the Minister will outline the procedure by which we will proceed on completion of ratification of the Treaty. The Minister mentioned the question of cost-benefit analysis. Will he indicate whether environmental impact assessments will be required for all the projects carried out under the Cohesion Fund?

It would be impossible at this stage to say whether environmental impact assessments will be necessary in all projects but they will certainly be necessary, and have been conducted, in quite a number of the schemes that have been considered for assistance under the Cohesion Fund this year. Secondary treatment projects and major motorway schemes will be subject to environmental impact assessments. In answer to the earlier question, there is a financial instrument invoked by the Commission which enables us to draw down EC funds ahead of ratification of the Maastricht Treaty by the last two members of the Community. Therefore there is no problem in the drawing down of funds for 1993.

Deputy Boylan rose.

I am sorry, I cannot call Deputy Boylan by reason of the strictures laid down——

As a junior spokesperson am I not entitled to ask a supplementary question?

No, Deputy, you are not. I am sorry I cannot call you by reason of the strictures laid down in Standing Orders for dealing with priority questions.