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Written Answers - Harbours and Piers

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 20.  Deputy Michael Colreavy Information on Michael Colreavy Zoom on Michael Colreavy  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  his plans to address the problem of the build up of mud and silt in the harbour at Dunmore East, County Waterford, which is preventing larger vessels from entering the harbour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7063/12]

[105]Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre is one of the six designated Fishery Harbour Centres, which are owned, managed and maintained by my Department.

I am aware of the difficulties that the build up of mud and silt at Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre causes for the various vessels using the harbour. Dredging costs are always significant and my Department did commission a feasibility study in relation to the dredging of the harbour in 2009. The study was undertaken by RPS Engineering Consultants, and in their report they addressed both the proposed dredging methods and related costs.

The report has indicated that 80% of the harbour sediment contains Tributyltin (TBT). Unfortunately the costs associated with the disposal of dredge spoil containing TBT is significantly higher than for uncontaminated material.

The options examined for dredging the harbour and disposing of the dredge spoil material in an appropriate manner are estimated to cost in the region of €6 million. This is a significant outlay in the current context of the national finances and competing exchequer demands. My officials are actively engaged in examining alternative and more economical solutions for dredging and disposal of dredge spoil containing TBT. On completion of their examination I will assess the proposals in the context of available exchequer funding and other national priorities.


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