PA ID# 111-UL4GF-00; Ventura County Watershed Protection District
PW ID# Project Worksheet 1593; Arroyo Santa Rosa Channel
January 22, 2008
Mr. Paul Jacks Governor’s Authorized Representative Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Response and Recovery Division 3650 Schriever Avenue Mather, CA 95655
Re: Second Appeal-Ventura County Watershed Protection District, PA ID 111-UL4GF-00, Arroyo Santa Rosa Channel, FEMA-1577-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 1593
Dear Mr. Jacks:
This letter is in response to the referenced second appeal Ventura County Watershed Protection District (Applicant) submitted to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) on March 7, 2007. OES forwarded the second appeal to FEMA on May 10, 2007. The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of funding to remove debris from Arroyo Santa Rosa Channel.
The storms and heavy rains of December 27, 2004, through January 11, 2005, caused excessive storm water runoff and mud flows into Arroyo Santa Rosa Channel. Debris and sediment were deposited along 400 feet of the channel at Honey Hill Road. The Applicant requested FEMA reimburse it $7,746 to remove the debris and sediment. The work was completed on April 15, 2005. FEMA denied the request because the facility met the United States Army Corps of Engineer’s (USACE) definitional criteria of flood control work (FCW) and the debris did not pose an immediate threat to life, public health and safety, or improved property.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on November 4, 2005. The Applicant claimed that the costs were eligible because the facilities were not active in the USACE’s Rehabilitation and Inspection Program (RIP) and were not under the specific authority of the USACE. Therefore, FEMA could waive its respective administrative conditions on reimbursement of facilities under the authority of another Federal agency. The Applicant stated that since it had sole responsibility, maintenance and debris removal should be eligible for reimbursement under the Public Assistance Program.
The Deputy Regional Director denied the first appeal on December 8, 2006, because the facility met the definition of an FCW. In accordance with FEMA Response and Recovery (R&R) Policy 9524.3, Policy for Rehabilitation Assistance for Levees and Other Flood Control Works, disaster assistance authority for FCWs resides with another Federal agency and Public Assistance reimbursement for FCWs is limited to emergency work necessary to reduce an immediate threat to life, public health and safety, or improved property.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on March 7, 2007, reiterating the position presented in its first appeal. The Applicant claims that the debris removal was necessary because additional debris accumulations “could have caused flood waters to overflow the banks. This would have resulted in extensive damage to the rural community with approximately a dozen homes.” The second appeal did not provide any documentation to demonstrate that the debris removal was necessary for the channel to convey a five-year flood event, or that a five-year flood would cause any damage if the debris was not removed.
We reviewed all information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Deputy Regional Director’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance Program regulations and policies. Therefore, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo Assistant Administrator Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Nancy Ward Regional Administrator FEMA Region IX