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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 017-00000; El Dorado County
DSR ID# 98664,98665, 39947, 80053; Sand Ridge Road Bridge
Citation: FEMA-1155-DR-CA; El Dorado County, Sand Ridge Road Bridge; Damage Survey Reports (DSRs) 98664, 98665, 39947, 80053
Cross-reference: Endangered Species Act
Summary: Heavy rains and runoff damaged the Sand Ridge Road Bridge concrete abutments and railing in El Dorado County (County) in December 1996. In February 1997, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved DSR 98664 for $53,445 and DSR 98665 for $4,320 for emergency repairs to the bridge. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) required a Section 7, Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation for the permanent repair work on the bridge because it had designated this area as proposed core area for the California Red Legged Frog. The County awarded a contract for the permanent repair work to start late in July 2000 because it was required by a Stream Alteration Agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game to complete the work by October 15, 2000. FEMA advised the County not to start work until the environmental clearances were complete, or it may jeopardize funding. However, the County told the contractor to commence work on August 28, 2000, claiming it had the deadline of October 15, 2000, and the safety of the public to consider. USFWS decided it would not complete the Section 7, ESA consultation because the work had begun when it visited the site on September 6, 2000. Subsequently, FEMA notified the County through OES that project funds would be de-obligated. The County submitted its first appeal on November 17, 2000, disagreeing with FEMAs determination that the County had not allowed FEMA the opportunity to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the consequent de-obligation of funding for this project. The FEMA Region IX Acting Regional Director denied the appeal because FEMA could not fund a project that does not comply with NEPA. OES supports the Countys second appeal for $212,454.
Issues: Are the costs for the repair work eligible for reimbursement?
Findings: No. FEMA cannot fund a project that is not in compliance with NEPA.
Rationale: National Environmental Policy Act; 44 CFR Part 10