PA ID# 083-69070; City of Santa Barbara
DSR ID# 98428; Disposal of Storm Related Debris in Las Positas Park
Citation: FEMA-1044-DR-CA; City of Santa Barbara; DSR 98428
Cross-Reference: Emergency Work, Debris Removal
Summary: As a result of the winter storms of 1995, the City of Santa Barbara had to dispose of large amounts of storm-generated debris. The three county landfills allegedly would not accept the storm debris for disposal. As an alternative, the subgrantee used Las Positas Friendship Park to disposal of the debris. Park officials required that the trash be separated from the debris and that the remaining mud be compacted and covered by vegetation to match the existing environment of the park. DSR 98428 was written for $68,884 to pay for the processing costs to sort and place the debris. Upon review, the DSR was reduced to $24,156 to cover only the eligible construction costs. A further review determined all of the funding to be ineligible as the disposal of all storm-generated debris was covered in other DSRs. The subgrantee submitted their first appeal on the assertion that presence of the debris posed an immediate threat. Furthermore, as Las Positas Park was one of the designated sites for debris removal, the additional cost involved with using the park would automatically be eligible. The Regional Director denied the appeal because other DSRs covered the cost of debris removal and the subgrantee had voluntarily selected to use the park for debris disposal rather than use the county landfills. The subgrantee has submitted a second appeal based on its contention that the county landfills would not accept the storm debris and documentation supporting its position.
Issues: Were the county landfills not accepting the storm debris for disposal? Can the extra costs incurred by disposing of the debris in the park be justified?
Findings: Yes. The subgrantee provided documentation to support its contention that the county landfills would not accept the storm debris in the form of letters from officials at the sites. The subgrantee selected Las Positas Park as an alternative disposal site because of the minimal dump fees. The volume of debris generated could have generated over three million dollars in tipping at the county landfills. Alternatively, the subgrantee incurred only $24,156 in cost to sort and place the debris at the park. Park officials required the sorting of the trash from the debris as the debris was placed in areas accessible to the public and the trash could cause hazards. This review has determined that the sorting of the debris was a reasonable requirement as it prevented potential threats to the public. Furthermore, the cost of sorting and placing of the debris was reasonable when compared to the possible tipping fees. Therefore, the costs incurred by the subgrantee to sort and place the debris at the park will be funded.
Rationale: Pursuant to 44CFR 206.206(a), documentation must be provided to justify requested funding under the Public Assistance Program. Funding must be for reasonable actions taken by the subgrantee in performing disaster related functions.