PA ID# 037-91031; Los Angeles County
DSR ID# N/A; Welded Steel Moment Frame Inspections
Citation: Second Appeal by the Los Angeles County for costs related the evaluation and inspection of County owned buildings for damage to their Welded Steel Moment Frames (WSMF).
Cross-Reference: Subject: Welded Steel Moment Frame (WSMF) Policy No. 4511.300 PO,EX, Inspection Costs, Engineering evaluations: FEMA Record: no DSRs listed.
Summary: After the Northridge Earthquake, it was discovered that WSMF connections suffered brittle fractures which had not been anticipated when the steel welded connection details were developed, and the codes were written. The County has many buildings constructed with WSMF connections, 22 of which had not been inspected at the time that a FEMA-imposed deadline for submitting for repair funding for such connections expired. The County has appealed stating that they had not been properly informed of (1), the FEMA WSMF Policy, and (2) the August 29, 1997 deadline for submittals.
Issues:The County takes issue with the setting of the August 29, 1997 deadline for submitting evidence of damage to WSMF connections. They claim (1) that the WSMF Policy had not been made known to them until many months after it was issued by FEMA, (2) that FEMA had not informed them of the deadline until only two months before the deadline (and it takes four months to conduct an inspection), and (3) FEMA practice is to cover the costs for detailed inspections and engineering evaluations as eligible costs.
Findings: The WSMF Policy, and FEMA practice in general, places the responsibility on the subgrantee to identify damage and to apply for assistance to FEMA in a timely manner. Generally, FEMA does not fund the costs of looking for damage, except for the administrative allowance, which is a percentage of the costs of repairs. The County failed to submit any evidence concerning how the deadline issue has affected any specific building, and FEMA records do not include any evidence that the buildings affected by the inspection deadline otherwise would have qualified for inspection cost reimbursement under other provisions of the Policy. The appeal is denied.
Rationale: Since the County failed to provide any evidence to support a finding that FEMA eligibility would have been any different had there been no deadline, FEMA finds that there is no basis to the claim that the delays in its being informed of it resulted in the County being denied funding.