PA ID# 037-91193; Los Nietos School District
DSR ID# 22958/46606; Los Nietos Middle School Gas Pipeline
Citation: FEMA-1008-DR-CA; Los Nietos School District
Reference: Disaster-related Damages
Summary: Following the January 1994 Northridge Earthquake, DSR 22958 was approved for replacement of two underground natural gas pipelines (796 linear feet of a 4 inch line and 60 linear feet of a 1.5 inch line) at the Los Nietos Middle School as Category G ($65,972) including a 3% allowance for construction inspection. DSR 22951 was also approved as Category B to provide installation of a temporary above ground gas supply line from the gas meter to the kitchen. In October 1994, the subgrantee submitted a request for supplemental funding for project management and A/E fees. FEMA denied the request in October 1996, stating documentation did not support the basis for, and the actual costs related to, project management and A/E fees. In February 1997, the subgrantee submitted a first appeal with copies of invoices from the A/E firm and the project management firm. The eligibility of the original project was reviewed and it was determined that the pipeline leaks were related to a pre-disaster corroded condition rather than the disaster. FEMA denied the appeal in September 1997, and DSR 22958 funds were de-obligated with DSR 46606. In a November 1997, second appeal, the subgrantee argued that FEMA may have misunderstood the work done at the school, that a major school modernization project planned prior to the disaster did not include underground exterior gas pipeline replacement, and increases in the gas usage for several months following the disaster indicate that the disaster caused leaks.
Issues: 1) Were the pipeline leaks disaster-related? 2) Are repairs to the pipeline eligible?
Findings: 1) No. No pre-disaster records document that the pipelines did not leak prior to the disaster and there is no documentation to support that the disaster caused the pipelines to leak. 2) No. Though FEMA funded emergency temporary gas pipelines, replacement of the permanent pipelines is not eligible because the disaster did not damage the pipelines.