Thursday, 19 September 2019

Ceisteanna (87)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

87. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the details of the appropriate assessment report made pursuant to the provisions of Directive 92/43/EEC as amended for the dredging project being carried out by Waterways Ireland on behalf of the Office of Public Works in a section of the River Shannon close to Meelick weir, County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38202/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group was established by the Government in early 2016 to enhance the on-going co-operation across all of the State Agencies involved in the River Shannon.

The Group is focused on ensuring the best possible level of co-ordination between all of these statutory bodies.  It is solutions focused and designed to deliver the highest level of efficiencies to add value to the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme.

In 2017, targeted maintenance activities were identified for seven locations along the River Shannon.  This work includes the removal of reeds and vegetation from the area immediately upstream of Meelick Weir on the Shannon, on the boundary between Counties Galway and Offaly. 

The Office of Public Works applied for a license to carry out this work and it was granted by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under Regulation 30 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011, SI No. 477 of 2011.  As part of the assessment process, a screening for appropriate assessment was carried out by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).  The assessment determined that there were no likely significant effects from the work on Natura 2000 sites. 

The removal of reeds and vegetation from Meelick Weir is currently being undertaken as part of the works required for the refurbishment of Meelick Weir and its Walkway for which planning consent was received by Waterway Ireland.