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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 087-91007; Santa Cruz Flood Control and Water Conservation District
DSR ID# 15298, 75169, and 75170; Pajaro River
Citation: FEMA-1046-DR-CA; Santa Cruz County Flood Control and Water Conservation District; DSRs 15298, 75169, and 75170
Cross Reference: Flood control works; Debris removal; Incidental damages
Summary: During the winter storms of 1995, flooding occurred along the Pajaro River in Santa Cruz County, which shares responsibility for channel maintenance with Monterey County. Levees are located offset from the channel bank, creating a "bench" between the top of the bank and the toe of the levee. During the disaster, the levees were breached and sedimentation was deposited along the bench and channel bottom. An inspection was performed on July 11, 1995. Subsequently, DSR 15298 was prepared for $398,285 to cover removal of approximately five miles of vegetation and 2,500 trees. Because damage occurred to the bench as a result of the debris removal activities, the inspectors prepared DSR 75169 for $105,581. In addition, the inspectors prepared DSR 75170 for $2,143,798 to cover removal of 147,950 cubic yards (CY) of sand and gravel from the channel. DSRs 75169 and 75170 were prepared in response to the subgrantee's request for section 406 hazard mitigation funding. Upon review, FEMA determined that DSR 15298 was not eligible because the vegetation existed before the disaster. Additionally, DSRs 75169 and 75170 were determined ineligible because there was no eligible permanent restoration at the site. The subgrantee's first appeal stated that the vegetation and sediment removal was required to alleviate an immediate threat. The Regional Director determined that DSRs 15298 and 75170 were not eligible because the subgrantee did not establish the pre-disaster level of debris or the existence of an immediate threat. Additionally, FEMA determined that because there was no eligible emergency work and the bench was under the jurisdiction of another federal agency, DSR 75169 was not eligible. In their second appeal, the subgrantee argues that 44 CFR 206.226(a) does not prohibit FEMA from funding restoration of the bench, regardless of whether that facility is within the jurisdiction of another federal agency.
- Should FEMA fund vegetation or sediment removal from the bench and channel?
- Should FEMA fund restoration of the bench?
- No. The vegetation existed prior to the disaster, and removal is not eligible. The subgrantee did not establish that any of the debris removal was required to protect lives or public health or safety, or that it was a cost-effective measure to protect improved property. In addition, the channel is not improved and maintained and is, therefore, not eligible for permanent restoration funding.
- No. The bench is not an improved and maintained natural feature, and is not eligible for funding. Additionally, the damage occurred as a result of ineligible debris removal and is not eligible for funding.
Rationale: 44 CFR 206.223(a)(1); 44 CFR 206.224(a); 44 CFR 206.201(c).