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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 017-91025; El Dorado Irrigation District
DSR ID# 75501, 75502, 75504, 75508, 75509 and 75514; Improved Project
Citation: FEMA-1155-DR-CA; El Dorado Irrigation District; Damage Survey Reports (DSRs) 75501, 75502, 75504, 75508, 75509, 75514
Cross-reference: Improved Project
Summary: Heavy rains and runoff damaged 22.3 miles of canals and flumes owned by the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) in December 1996. FEMA approved the above-noted DSRs for $941,530 to restore the area to pre-disaster condition. As part of an existing agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), responsibility for maintenance and repairs was shared equally between EID and PG&E. Accordingly, the amount eligible for reimbursement to EID was reduced to 50 percent of the total estimated restoration costs. After repeated attempts to restore the facility, EID decided that it was not cost effective to remove debris and mud from the canals and determined the best approach would be to drill a tunnel through the mountain, which would require an improved project. FEMA and the Governors Office of Emergency Services (OES) approved EIDs request for an improved project and set the limit for eligible costs at $768,064. Subsequently, EID requested supplemental funding for $21,644,682 based on a geotechnical engineering report prepared by Carleton Engineering, Incorporated. FEMA denied the request stating that federal funding for improved projects is limited to the approved estimate of eligible costs. On July 26, 2002, EID submitted its first appeal requesting that the improved project status of the above referenced DSRs be reconsidered as hazard mitigation and also to approve supplemental funding for $21,644,682. The FEMA Region IX Regional Director denied the appeal because the project cost increases to account for prevailing wage rates, increased unit costs, alternate construction methods and codes and standards are not eligible for hazard mitigation funding. OES does not support EIDs second appeal for $21,644,682.
Issues: Can the increased costs be considered under hazard mitigation?
Findings: No. The project is an improved project and, therefore, federal funding is limited to the federal share of the estimated costs for repairing the damaged facility to its pre-disaster design.
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.203(d)(1)