Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
58. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the submissions made by Kerry County Council to his Department regarding proposals for Scartaglen village sewerage scheme in the past 30 years, preliminary reports for the scheme and identification of a suitable site; the stage of priority it has been on in any programmes submitted to his Department in that time; if he will request Kerry County Council to provide a schedule of investigation regarding engineering investigations for the scheme, site visits, negotiation for sites for treatment plants and the total cost of these exercises to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39129/11]
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): The planning and construction of new water and wastewater infrastructure, including the design and location of all components of a scheme are a matter for the relevant local authority, in this case Kerry County Council.
For the past decade, my Department has adopted a multi-annual approach to the funding of water services infrastructure through the Water Services Investment Programme. Assessments of needs conducted by local authorities are a key impact to the development of these programmes. Following the submission of such assessments by Kerry County Council, the Kerry Villages Sewerage Scheme, which proposed to provide sewerage infrastructure for 14 villages in County Kerry, including Scartaglen, was first included in the Water Services Investment Programme 2002-2004 as a scheme to advance through planning with an estimated cost of €7,750,000. The Kerry Villages Sewerage Scheme was included in four subsequent Water Services Investment Programmes as a scheme to start during the period of these programmes.
However, the scheme did not progress and a Preliminary Report in respect of the Scartaglen Sewerage Scheme has not been submitted to my Department by Kerry County Council. Neither Scartaglen nor the Kerry Villages Sewerage Scheme were included the Assessment of Needs submitted by Kerry County Council in response to my Department‘s request in 2009 to all local authorities to review and prioritise their proposals for new capital works in their areas. The 2009 assessment of needs was a key input to the development of the current Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012 which aimed to prioritise projects that target environmental compliance issues and support economic and employment growth. Inevitably, as a result of this comprehensive review, certain projects that had been previously proposed had to give way to others that were more strategically important at that time. Progress under the Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012, was reviewed earlier this year and through this process, consideration was given to any newly emerging priority contracts and schemes submitted by local authorities for addition to the Programme. No proposal for the Scartaglen Sewerage Scheme was received from Kerry County Council in response to the review process.
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