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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 097-00000; Municipality of Mayaguez
PW ID# Multiple Project Worksheets; Debris Removal
Citation: FEMA-1247-DR-PR; Municipality of Mayagüez; Debris Removal; Multiple PWs
Cross-reference: Time Limitations; Debris Removal
Summary: Hurricane Georges severely impacted the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on September 21, 1998, creating significant scattered debris in the Municipality of Mayagüez (Applicant). The Applicant established three temporary debris storage sites and used private contractors to collect scattered debris and deliver it to the temporary storage sites. The debris contractors were monitored by Applicant employees, who established an internal control system to account for the debris being delivered to the temporary storage sites and calculated the total volume of scattered debris at 344,302 cubic yards. The Applicants contractors billed a total of $9,460,897.76 for debris collection, removal and haulage services. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) then took the debris to a final reduction center in Añasco for disposal. According to the USACE, 8,360 truckloads totaling approximately 175,983 cubic yards of final, concentrated debris were delivered to the Añasco disposal site from Mayagüez. The debris was concentrated because it was compacted by bulldozers. Therefore, an Island-wide, disaster specific compaction factor of 1.37 was used to determine the amount of debris hauled to the site by the Applicant. Using a rate of $26.60 per cubic yard of debris, FEMA calculated an eligible debris volume of 241,096 cubic yards for a total cost of $6,499,525. The Applicant submitted a first appeal on November 23, 1999. However, the GAR forwarded the appeal on June 6, 2000 - a delay of 164 days by the Grantee. This is well beyond the regulatory time of 60 days allowed in 44 CFR §206.206(c)(1). FEMA denied the appeal in a letter dated June 26, 2000, because the Applicant did not submit any documentation to support a change in the compaction factor. Also, the Applicant agreed on the volume and type of debris collected at a March 1999 meeting. The Applicant submitted its second appeal in a letter dated November 22, 2000. However, the GAR forwarded the appeal on February 20, 2004 - a delay of 1,185 days by the Grantee. This is well beyond the regulatory time of 60 days allowed under 44 CFR §206.206(c)(2).
Issues: Was the second appeal submitted within the regulatory timeframe?
Findings: No. The regulations state that the Grantee will review and forward appeals from an applicant or subgrantee, with a written recommendation, to the Regional Director within 60 days of receipt.
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.206 (c)(2)