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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 071-U76MD-00; Audubon Commission
PW ID# Project Worksheet 6138; Replacement of Fish
FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Audubon Commission, PW 6138, Replacement of Fish
Eligible Costs, Reasonable Costs, Replacement Costs
The Audubon Commission owned and operated the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, which contained over 10,000 fish representing 530 species when Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina knocked out power to the aquarium and the backup generators were unable to fully operate. As a result, over 3,000 fish died. FEMA prepared PW 6138 for $616,849, the estimated cost to replace the lost fish from commercial sources, but obligated it for $0 because it determined that the fish were one of a kind, thus ineligible based on Response and Recovery Policy Number: 9524.6, Collections and Individual Objects. The Applicant subsequently conducted an expedition and caught the replacement fish for the aquarium. The Applicant also received fish donations from other aquariums to replace some of the fish lost after the storm. The Applicant revised its request for reimbursement from $616,849 to $99,766. The FEMA staff denied this request for the same reason stated above. The Regional Administrator concurred with the decision in the first appeal response letter dated May 17, 2007. The Applicant submitted its second appeal on July 24, 2007. It asked FEMA to reimburse the replacement of fish at its aquarium that were lost as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The amount in dispute is $99,766.
1. Are the aquarium fish eligible for replacement?
2. Are the costs incurred by the applicant for the replacement of fish reasonable and eligible for reimbursement?
44 CFR §206.226(h), 44 CFR §13.3