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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 057-91000; Nevada Irrigation District
DSR ID# 28538; Road and Canal Repairs
Citation: Appeal Brief; Second Appeal; Nevada Irrigation District; FEMA-1046-DR-CA; PA #057-91000
Cross-Reference: DSR 28538; Road and Irrigation Canal Repairs; Category B
Summary: Following the January 1995 storms in the Nevada Irrigation District (District), California, FEMA prepared DSR 28538 for $52,368 to rebuild a hillside, a road and an irrigation canal. The repair work was 99% complete when the site was inspected. Upon review, FEMA reduced the DSR to $0 because the District did not comply with environmental review requirements. On November 5, 1996, the State forwarded the first appeal. The basis of the appeal was that the District provided emergency repairs to restore water flow for agriculture, drinking and fire protection for the Town of Smartsville (Town) and to prevent further damage to properties. The State requested that the work be changed from Category D to Category B, for emergency repairs. The District contended that Federal environmental and historic review requirements do not apply because the project was completed as an emergency protective measure. The Regional Director denied the appeal on March 18, 1997. The Regional Director determined that repair of the canal was not eligible because the District did not demonstrate an immediate threat to life, safety or improved public property. In addition, land used for agricultural purposes is not improved property, pursuant to 44 CFR 206.221(d). Since the repairs are not eligible as emergency work and the repairs changed the pre-disaster design, the Regional Director did not grant an exclusion of NEPA requirements. On July 30, 1997, the State forwarded the second appeal. The basis of this appeal is that the District had to restore water delivery as quickly as possible to protect public health and safety. In support of the appeal, the District provided letters which state the dependency of the Town and the Penn Valley Fire Protection District (Fire District) on the canal for drinking and fire protection water.
- Are the repairs to the canal eligible as emergency work?
- Should an exclusion of the NEPA review process be granted?
- Yes. The canal repairs were necessary to provide fire protection and drinking water to the Town and the Fire District and, correspondingly, eliminate an immediate threat.
- Yes. The canal repairs consisted of emergency work and were performed during the incident period; therefore a statutory exclusion of NEPA requirements should be obtained. However, all other environmental laws and regulations should be complied with.
Rationale: Pursuant to 44 CFR 206.225 (a)(3) and 44 CFR 10.8 (c)(1).