Summary: The Clear Lake hydroelectric power plant has a tailrace that was protected from debris deposition by a concrete wall. Runoff from disasters 1044 and 1046 dislodged boulders that broke the wall into pieces, and washed the pieces into the tailrace. DSR 75310 was written under disaster 1044 for $18,835 to replace the function of the concrete wall by extending the tailrace to make it self-cleaning. The Department of Fish and Game stipulated that the construction be completed on an emergency basis before the next high winter flows. For this reason, the subgrantee constructed the tailrace extension in November 1995 without an approved DSR. Although DSR 75310 was written in April 1995, it was not approved until October 1996 because of environmental concerns. The scope of work was changed from extending the tailrace to replacing the damaged wall. In its response to a net small project overrun request, FEMA de-obligated DSR 75310, re-obligated it as disaster 1046 DSR 05422, determined that the work was an improved project, and funded $64,631 as an eligible overrun. This request and response were considered as a first appeal so the subgrantee's "first appeal" is being treated as a second appeal. The subgrantee contends that changing the scope of work more than one year after the project was completed is inappropriate, that the tailrace extension was not an improved project, and that the work was done in an emergency situation as defined by the California Department of Fish and Game so the work was exempt from environmental review. The costs for constructing the tailrace extension were higher than those in the DSR because the irregular shape of the streambed precluded the use of large equipment and because of additional de-watering costs. The subgrantee is requesting an additional $64,461, and that the scope of work be changed to the constructed tailrace extension.
Is the tailrace extension an improved project?
Are the actual costs reasonable for the work performed?
No. It is a cost-effective alternate design to replace the function of the damaged wall.
Yes. Excavating the hard fractured rock required extensive drilling with hand-operated equipment and more de-watering pump capacity than anticipated.
Rationale: An alternate method of repair may be eligible if it is reasonable and cost-effective.