I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 153 together.
Thank you, Deputy Dillon and Deputy Calleary, for your queries in relation to the much needed Flood Relief Scheme in Crossmolina. The current status in relation to Crossmolina Flood Relief Scheme is as follows:
As part of the approval process under the Arterial Drainage act, the Office of Public Works (OPW) submitted the scheme documentation to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (MPER) for Statutory Confirmation. As part of this statutory process, stakeholders were afforded a formal opportunity to provide comments on the environmental element of the proposed works. Once this step concluded, the Department of Public Expenditure (DPER) procured independent consultants to carry out an assessment of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS).
Following a review of the material by DPER, the OPW received comments and requests for supplementary information. The project team for the Crossmolina Flood Relief Scheme are now compiling a response to DPER and will respond with the additional requested information in July. Once DPER receive our comments, they will in turn have to review this material prior to granting Statutory Confirmation of the Scheme. I cannot provide an indicative timeline for this stage of the Confirmation process as this is outside of our control.
Subject to a satisfactory conclusion of DPER's Consultation and Independent Review, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will give statutory consent to the scheme, allowing the project team to bring Crossmolina to construction. Subject to confirmation, it is currently anticipated that the OPW construction crew will be in a position to commence advance construction works this year. These are indicative timelines and may vary depending on the confirmation process and favourable ground conditions.
Once DPER/MPER have completed their review, further information will be provided on the project website, which is available at: https://www.floodinfo.ie/frs/en/crossmolina/home/