PA ID# 087-00000; Municipality of Loiza
PW ID# 05284; Rainfall and Sewer Water Collection
Citation: FEMA-1247-DR-PR, P.A. #087-00000, Municipality of Loiza, PW 05284, Rainfall and Sewer Water Collection
Cross-reference: Project Documentation, Public Health and Safety Threat
Summary: Hurricane Georges struck Puerto Rico on September 21, 1998, damaging infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth. The president declared a major disaster on September 24, 1998. On November 13, 1998, FEMA prepared PW 05284 for rainfall and sewer water collection in the Municipality of Loiza (Municipality). The Municipality stated that the storm knocked out power to a pump station, causing storm water and sewage to backup into the community, creating a health hazard. On February 1, 1999, FEMA determined that the PW was ineligible because the Municipality did not submit documentation to support its claim that a health threat existed. The Municipality appealed this determination on May 25, 1999, and submitted an additional letter on June 17, 1999. The Disaster Recovery Manager denied the first appeal on December 29, 1999, stating that the Municipality failed to provide key documentation regarding the specific health threat, quantity of water transported and disposed, contractor price quotes, maintenance plan for affected sites, and location, elevation levels, dimensions of floodwaters and other details necessary to estimate the quantity of water. The Municipality submitted its second appeal on March 30, 2000, claiming that the Public Assistance Coordinator never gave instructions to obtain certification of a health threat from a state or federal official. It also explained the process by which its contractor disposed of wastewater and tracked quantities and costs and submitted contractor invoices and manifests for water disposal as evidence of its claims.
Issues: Did the Municipality submit sufficient evidence to support its claim that a health and safety threat existed?