PA ID# 000-92005; California Department of Transportation
DSR ID# 16163; Removal of Soil Debris from State Highway #299
Citation: FEMA-1044-DR-CA; California Department of Transportation; DSR 16163
Cross-Reference: FHWA, Specific authority, eligibility, Sand, Debris
Summary: 1995 winter rain storms caused flooding and erosion of California State Highway #299, a FHWA Roadway. To minimize the effects of flooding and surface runoff, Caltrans installed a temporary sand bag barrier (nine tons of sand). Debris was removed from behind the barrier by Caltrans using their force account labor. DSR 16163 was written in the amount of $3,050 to reimburse the applicant for costs for associated materials and equipment. However, as the roadway was found to be under the jurisdiction of the FHWA, the scope of work was determined to be ineligible by FEMA.
Caltrans submitted a first appeal, contending that in accordance with the FHWA regulations, costs for the work mentioned in the DSR 16163 was not eligible. Caltrans requested FEMA to reimburse the money. FEMA requested that Caltrans first apply for assistance with FHWA and indicated that if FHWA denied Canltrans' request, then FEMA would consider the project for eligibility under the FEMA program.
Caltrans approached FHWA for assistance. In a letter addressed to Caltrans, FHWA replied that the work mentioned in the DSR was not eligible for FHWA's assistance. With the copy of FHWA's letter, Caltrans submitted a second appeal to FEMA asking FEMA to reconsider the eligibility of the work mentioned in the DSR 16163.
Issues: As a FHWA highway, are the sand bagging efforts reported in DSR 16163 eligible for FEMA funding?
Findings: YES. Two reasons: (1) Funding for this work is not eligible within the FHWA ER program; and (2) the subgrantee has demonstrated that the work was necessary to reduce an immediate threat.
Rationale: (1) FEMA may provide assistance for emergency measures to FHWA roadways when assistance is not otherwise available from the FHWA. (2) Emergency protective measures are eligible for assistance when an immediate threat exists. 44 CFR 206.226(a)(1), 44 CFR 206.224 and 44 CFR 206.225