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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 001-91006; Oakland Unified School District
DSR ID# 15107; Landslide Stabilization
Citation: FEMA-1044-DR-CA; Oakland Unified School District; DSR 15107
Cross-Reference: Landslide, permanent restoration, immediate threat
Summary: DSR 15107 was prepared to fund an engineering study to evaluate the need for immediate slope stabilization of an unstable slope adjacent an elementary school. The DSR was determined to be ineligible since FEMA does not fund engineering/geotechnical studies for the permanent restoration of landslides. The subgrantee's first appeal stated that the slope is an eligible facility since it supports several improvements (drainage pipes, sewer main, and stairway) and that there was an immediate threat to students and staff due to anticipated precipitation that may cause another landslide. The Region responded that the slope is not a facility and that an immediate threat was not demonstrated. The second appeal stated that if slope stabilization measures were not constructed, additional movement of slide would likely have occurred in 1996 and that an immediate threat to buildings existed. Further, the subgrantee asserted that FEMA violated Section 316 of the Stafford Act by de-obligating funds and suspending the DSR and suggested that the Landslide Policy constitutes a regulatory change outside the rule making process.
Issues: Are the engineering study and work that was performed on the slope eligible?
Findings: No. Only an engineering study that identifies the potential for an immediate threat and temporary measures and the temporary measures to lessen or eliminate the immediate threat is eligible for landslides. Since an immediate threat was not established, the engineering study and the stabilization work, i.e., excavation of the toe of the slope and construction of an engineered-fill buttress, are not eligible. Further, slopes are considered natural features and not facilities. Therefore, slopes are not eligible for permanent restoration.
Rationale: Natural features are not eligible for permanent restoration assistance, since they are not facilities. Further, only studies to evaluate the presence of immediate threats and efforts to mitigate immediate threats are eligible, as emergency protective measures.