Appeal Summary | Appeal Letter | Back
Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 025-45557; Village of Margaretville
DSR ID# 41552; Hydrogeologic Assessment
Citation: FEMA-1148-DR-NY; Village of Margaretville, Hydrogeologic Assessment; Damage Survey Report (DSR) 41552
Cross-reference: General Eligibility
Summary: Severe flooding impacted the Village of Margaretville (Applicant) in November of 1996, resulting in major disaster declaration FEMA-1148-DR-NY on December 9, 1996. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepared Disaster Survey Reports (DSRs) 87601 and 41522 for damage to the stream bank along Bull Run Creek caused by the flooding. Following project completion, the Applicant requested an inspection of water leakage into four residences adjacent to the project. The New York State Emergency Management Office (State) requested that a hydrogeological study be performed to determine the cause of the problem. FEMA agreed to the study but stipulated that the study can only be funded by FEMA if there is a direct link between the Bull Run Creek project and the basement leakage. On June 20, 2003, the State received the hydrogeologic assessment and requested funding for the study and for engineering and design to correct the problem. After reviewing the study and consulting with the Applicants geologist, the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Resource Conservation Service, the United States Geological Survey, and the Applicants Soil and Water Conservation District geologist, FEMA concluded that there was not a direct link between the Bull Run Creek project and the basement leakage. Therefore, FEMA denied funding for the hydrogeologic study on August 19, 2003. The Applicant submitted a first appeal on October 9, 2003, claiming that the leakage into the basements was a direct result from the project as shown by the hydrogeologic assessment. The FEMA Region II Acting Regional Director denied the appeal because it did not show that the basement leakage was the direct result of the Bull Run Creek project and not due to pre-existing conditions. The Applicant submitted its second appeal on March 1, 2004, requesting that FEMA address the issues specifically outlined in the documentation submitted with the first appeal. The State supports the Applicants appeal. The appeal does not claim a specific dollar amount; it only requests funding for the hydrogeologic assessment and any repairs to fix the problem.
Issues: 1. Is the hydrogeologic assessment eligible for funding?
2. Should FEMA pay for any repairs, if necessary?
Findings: 1. No. The Applicant did not establish that the restoration project was exclusively responsible for the water in the basements.
2. No. The basement leakage was a consequence of the geology of the area. FEMA is not an insurer of unintended consequences resulting from pre-existing conditions.
Rationale: 44 CFR § 206.223