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Launch of Public Consultation on the Flood Risk Management Plan for the Lee Catchment Area

The Public Consultation on the Flood Risk Management Plan for the Lee Catchment Area was launched in City Hall, Cork on 1/2/2010 by Dr. Martin Mansergh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for the Office of  Public Works.  

Speaking in Cork’s City Hall, Dr. Mansergh said before formally launching the Plan: “I would like to express again my deepest sympathies for those who suffered as a result of the flooding of last November, in particular those whose homes or businesses were directly affected. The flooding was on an unprecedented scale; here in Cork City , at other towns in the County, such as Bandon and Skibereen, and elsewhere around both the county and the country. Although the recent flooding was extreme, we must do all we reasonably can to make sure that such floods, in the future, cause as little damage and suffering as possible and the Plan I am launching here today is aimed at doing just that”.

This Flood Risk Management Plan for the Lee Catchment was substantially produced prior to the flooding of November 2009 and is the primary pilot project for the National CFRAM programme.

The Minister added

“ the Plan is the culmination of three years of intensive work that has identified the areas that are prone to flooding, and assessed a wide range of measures that can be used to protect people, property and infrastructure against the effects of flooding. It sets out a range of actions and measures that will be implemented by the OPW and the Local Authorities working together, including the construction of flood protection schemes and the implementation of flood forecasting and warning systems”.

Flood risk in Ireland has historically been addressed through a reactive approach and the use of structural or engineered solutions.  In 2004 the Irish Government adopted a new policy that shifted the emphasis towards a catchment based context for managing flood risk, with more proactive risk assessment and management, and increased use of non-structural and flood impact mitigation measures.

Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Studies (CFRAMSs) and their product - Catchment Flood Risk Management Plans (CFRMPs) – are at the core of this new national policy for flood risk management and the strategy for its implementation.  This policy is in line with international best practice and meets the requirements of the EU Floods Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks.

The Minister added :

“While the Plan sets out solutions for the more significant flood problems within the catchment, I fully recognise that there are many local problems that could not be addressed within this catchment-scale study and Plan. Last Summer, I announced the Minor Scheme programme under which the OPW will provide funding to Local Authorities to address these local problems, where there are viable and cost-effective solutions. Despite budgetary constraints, I am able to continue this programme into 2010, and OPW have recently written to all Local Authorities to invite them to submit applications under this scheme”.

The Minister continued :

“We are now in the final phase of consultation.  Comments are invited by the end of April 2010, so that, following a review, the draft Catchment Flood Risk Management Plan and associated Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) can be finalised and put into operation.  Cork is a particularly large county, with fullscale flood defence works that are well advanced in Mallow and Fermoy.  All the evidence is that, when complete, and often even before that, they work well and will greatly reduce, even if not entirely eliminate, the risk of major flooding in the future”.

For further information on the OPW Flood Risk Management Plan please click on the link below:

http://www.opw.ie/en/FloodRiskManagement

 

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