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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 017-91001; South Tahoe Public Utility District
DSR ID# 22859; HMP for Canal Lining
Citation: Appeal Brief; Second Appeal; South Tahoe Public Utility District; FEMA-1046-DR-CA; PA #017-91001
Cross-Reference: DSRs 22859; Gunite Canal Lining; Hazard Mitigation Proposal (HMP)
Summary: During the winter storms of 1995, 200 feet of the lower Harvey canal within the South Tahoe Public Utility District (District) was damaged. The berm washed out and the wastewater canal was in danger of failing. FEMA prepared DSR 22859 for $125,705 to repair the berm with unclassified fill and asphalt base material. An HMP was prepared for $35,887 to line 200 feet of the canal with gunite for slope protection, but was not approved. The State submitted the first appeal on November 13, 1996, requesting $35,887 for the HMP. The basis of the appeal was that failure of the canal would have posed a public health and safety concern for the residents in the immediate area. The District indicated that a hired consultant recommended lining the canal with four inches of gunite, to provide stabilization and prevent future damage. The District elected to line a total of 800 feet of the canal. However, the $35,887 requested only applies to the 200 feet that collapsed during disaster 1046. In the first appeal response, the former Regional Director determined that the HMP was not eligible because the work had been completed before FEMA inspected the project and was not required by FEMA. Further, the former Regional Director indicated that FEMA was not given the opportunity to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the HMP and conducted a benefit/cost (B/C) analysis, which demonstrated that the HMP was not cost-effective. The former Regional Director also determined that appropriate environmental reviews were not conducted and denied the appeal. The State forwarded the second appeal on August 14, 1997. The basis of this appeal is that the cost-effectiveness of the HMP was demonstrated by actual experience. The District contends that the benefits of lining the canal were evidenced by the fact that no damage occurred to the lined-canal during the winter storms of 1997 (FEMA-1155-DR), a storm which produced more extensive damage to the area than the 1995 storms. The District also contends that environmental reviews would not have been required because the HMP would have qualified for a categorical exclusion.
Issue: Was the HMP cost-effective to prevent future damages and eligible for FEMA funding?
Findings: Yes. The B/C ratio of the first appeal analysis is 0.98, which includes $28,284 of damages after mitigation. However, in a subsequent, larger disaster event $0 in damages occurred after the mitigation measure was completed. This indicates that the B/C is actually greater than 1 and the HMP is cost-effective.
Rationale: 44 CFR 206.226 (c)