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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 025-00000; Municipality of Caguas
DSR ID# 06349; Avenue Turabo
Citation: Appeal Brief; Second Appeal; Municipality of Caguas; PA ID #025-00000; FEMA-1247-DR-PR
Cross-reference: PW 06349; Emergency Work; Hazard Mitigation; Landslide
Summary: As a result of Hurricane Georges and heavy rains in September of 1998, an embankment failure occurred adjacent to Avenue Turabo (a road providing access to Turabo Ward) damaging portions of the road's aggregate base and asphalt surface courses, concrete curb and gutter, and guardrail. On January 13, 1999, FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 06349 for $102,833 to repair Avenue Turabo to its pre-disaster condition. The PW also required the construction of a Section 406 mitigation measure consisting of a concrete retaining wall to hold the natural ground necessary to support the facility in place. The PW was suspended pending the receipt of the architectural and engineering (A&E) report as funded by supplemental PW 13572 and the completion of special considerations review. On February 17, 2000, subsequent to FEMA's receipt of the A&E report, and project certifications and permits fulfilling the requirements of the review, FEMA adjusted PW 06349 to reflect the amount of the actual construction contract award for $83,385. On May 8, 2000, the Municipality forwarded a letter to the Government of Puerto Rico (Commonwealth) appealing FEMA's determination of an eligible scope of work and requesting consideration of a second Section 406 mitigation proposal for a rock-gabion retaining wall for $18,000. The Municipality contended that when FEMA had approved the project, only the embankment failure caused by the hurricane had been considered and unstable terrain had been overlooked. A FEMA/Commonwealth review of the site was conducted on August 8, 2000, and concluded that the rock-gabion retaining wall had been built and was located outside the damaged area contemplated in PW 06349. The Regional Director denied the appeal in a letter dated August 16, 2000. The basis for the denial was that the work is outside the damage area identified in PW 06349 and is not directly related to the road's disaster-damaged elements. The Municipality submitted a second appeal, transmitted but not supported by the Commonwealth in a letter dated February 13, 2001. The appeal states in pertinent part that the rock-gabion retaining wall is an emergency protective measure that mitigates the potential for anticipated and future damages. The primary issue of this appeal is the relationship of the mitigation proposal to the repair of the damaged facility.
Issues: Is the second Section 406 mitigation project request (i.e., the rock-gabion retaining wall) eligible for funding?
Findings: No. The scope of work within the requested Section 406 mitigation proposal does not specifically relate to disaster-damaged elements.
Rationale: Section 406(e) (42 U.S.C.