PA ID# 037-90106; Rubio Cañon Land and Water Association
DSR ID# 01470, 01176, 32961; San Gabriel Mountain Water Pipeline Repair
Citation: FEMA-1008-DR-CA; Rubio Cañon Land and Water Association; DSRs 01470, 01176, 32961
Cross-reference: Hazard mitigation, NEPA compliance
Summary: The 1994 Northridge Earthquake damaged a section of the Rubio Cañon Land and Water Association's (RCLWA's) steel water main that runs through the San Gabriel Mountains. FEMA approved Damage Survey Report (DSR) 01176 for $31,766 and DSR 32961 for $240,443 for the replacement of 200 feet of 4" pipe and construction of a 200-foot 2'X2' bench. The contractor replaced 350 feet of pipe and constructed a 200-foot bench that ranged from 2 to 8 feet wide. During construction, the contractor deposited thousands of cubic yards of rock spoils in the base of the canyon, impacting waterfalls, hiking trails and areas that are on the National Register of Historic Places. FEMA denied the applicant's request for an additional $198,800 in project costs, because the completed project exceeded the scope of work in the approved DSR and because the project caused an adverse impact on the environment. RCLWA claimed, in its October 13, 1999 appeal letter, that the constructed project did not exceed the approved scope of work described in the DSR, as the additional work was required to create a safe work environment. FEMA denied the first appeal in a letter dated March 10, 2000 for the same reasons it denied RCLWA's initial request. FEMA deobligated all funding for the project because the completed project exceeded the approved scope of work and was completed in violation of NEPA. RCLWA submitted a second appeal by letter dated May 22, 2000. It requested $198,800 in supplemental funds, reinstatement of $277,382 previously approved and subsequently de-obligated (first appeal), $62,400 for an environmental study and a time extension to complete the project and any remediation related to the rock spoils in the canyon.
Issues: Did the work completed by the contractor exceed the approved scope of work on DSR 32961?
Findings: Yes, the contractor significantly exceeded the approved scope of work. Furthermore, the resulting debris discarded in the canyon resulted in a NEPA violation.
Rationale: 44 CFR §10 and 44 CFR §206.226