Summary: Heavy rains on February 23-24, 1998, caused flooding along San Mateo Creek resulting in damage to a railroad trestle bridge owned by the North County Transit District (NCTD). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepared DSR 96104 for $1,458,625 to restore the bridge. NCTD commenced repairs to the bridge with the authorization of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), but without a permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). NCTD did obtain an After-the-Fact Nationwide Permit Authorization from the USACE for the repair work. NCTD requested and was denied by FEMA a time extension until January 2005 for mitigation and monitoring measures and funding estimated at $180,000. FEMA denied the request on November 21, 2001, because the work proceeded without the proper permits and authorities from regulatory agencies. NCTD submitted its first appeal on February 18, 2002, stating that it conducted the work under the direction of the USFWS, the USACE, and the California Coastal Commission and that extenuating circumstances and unusual project requirements precluded it from obtaining all permits and authorities in advance of beginning repairs. Also, NCTD asserted that FEMAs denial of the time extension request because the environmental restoration work was associated with an enforcement action, was not supported by regulation. The FEMA Region IX Acting Regional Director denied the appeal because the restoration measures were a procedural result of NCTDs receiving an After-the-Fact Nationwide Permit Authorization from the USACE and, therefore, were not eligible. OES supports the NCTDs second appeal for $180,000 and a time extension until January 2005.
Issues: Are additional time and funding eligible?
Findings: Yes. NCTD complied with the environmental requirements.