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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 001-00000-00; Alameda County
DSR ID# 5515; Debris Removal Costs
October 18, 2006
Mr. Paul Jacks
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Governor’s Office of Emergency Management
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, CA 95741
Re: Second Appeal – Alameda County, PA ID 001-00000-00, Debris Removal Costs, Office of Inspector General Audit: DS-11-04, FEMA-1203-DR-CA
Dear Mr. Jacks:
This is in response to your letter dated October 3, 2005, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of Alameda County (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of additional funding for the removal of sediment and debris from the Applicant’s drainage facilities.
As a result of severe storms, heavy rains and runoff waters deposited silt and debris in a number of drainage facilities owned and maintained by the Applicant. The Applicant was unable to document the pre-disaster level of debris or sedimentation within the channels. In order to adjust for the unknown pre-disaster condition, FEMA and the Applicant agreed to set the unit cost of debris removal at $10 per cubic yard at the facilities detailed in Disaster Survey Report (DSR) #5515. Nine other DSRs were written and obligated using higher rates, as billed by a contractor. In audit report DS-11-04, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that the additional nine DSRs stipulated that the Applicant must supply documentation of the pre-disaster condition of the drainage facilities as a condition for funding. The Applicant did not provide this documentation. Therefore, the OIG recommended the funding be adjusted to reflect the previously agreed upon $10 per cubic yard price used in DSR #5515. FEMA agreed and amended its closeout obligation accordingly.
The Applicant’s first appeal submitted by the State on January 21, 2005, claimed that the excessive costs were due to additional equipment needed to remove the debris and longer haul distances to dispose of it. FEMA Region IX denied the appeal on June 3, 2005, stating that no documentation had been submitted to support the additional equipment and hauling costs.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on August 24, 2005, with a summary of the equipment used, hauling distances for the disposal of the debris, and a short description of the site conditions that impacted the work completed. Summary sheets supplied by the Applicant support an average of eight pieces of equipment and seven-mile haul distance for each site. The appeal also includes descriptions of each site and level of access difficulty for each. The most expensive site is described as a reinforced concrete pipe that required special equipment to access and remove the sedimentation. The second appeal documentation did not include pre-disaster conditions or maintenance records of the drainage facilities. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services supports the Applicant’s second appeal for $599,157.
FEMA approved $1.78 million of the $2.8 million the Applicant requested for DSR 5515. The approved amount includes a unit cost of $10 per cubic yard and cost for miscellaneous equipment. The final cost represents a 36% reduction to account for the unknown quantity of pre-disaster debris in that facility. Since the quantity of disaster-related debris that was in the facilities under appeal is unknown, the approach used to establish reasonable cost for DSR 5515 is appropriate for the other nine sites. The total cost to remove the debris from the nine sites in question is $1,015,467, including special equipment. We have determined that 64% of this amount ($649,899) is a reasonable cost for the work and is eligible for reimbursement. FEMA previously approved $416,310 for this work, which leaves a balance of $233,589. Accordingly, I partially approve the appeal in the amount of $233,589. By copy of this letter, I am asking the Acting Regional Director to implement this determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR § 206.206.
John R. D’Araujo, Jr.Director of Recovery
cc: Karen E. Armes
Acting Regional Director
FEMA, Region IX