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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 115-26648-00; Forest Lake Township
PW ID# Project Worksheet 567; Replacement of damaged culvert
August 11, 2008
Governors Authorized Representative
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
2605 Interstate Drive
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110-9364
Re: Second AppealForest Lake Township, PA ID 115-26648-00Replacement of damaged culvert
, FEMA-1684-DR- PA, Project Worksheet (PW) 567
Dear Ms. Myslewicz:
This is in response to your letter dated March 24, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Forest Lake Township (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of reimbursement for costs associated with replacing a recently-installed section of 48-inch pipe with an aluminum box culvert.
Severe storms and flooding struck Forest Lake Township in November of 2006. As a result of the flooding, a 20-foot long section of 30-inch culvert became clogged with mud, cobble and other aggregate roadway surface material. The Applicant repaired and mitigated the site by replacing the damaged 30-inch pipe with a 48-inch pipe. FEMA approved PW 567 for $3,300 for the installation of the 48-inch pipe on April 17, 2007. The Applicant completed the work prior to FEMA preparing the PW.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) forwarded an undated first appeal from the Applicant on October 17, 2007. The first appeal requested an additional $96,019 for the cost of removing and replacing the recently installed 48-inch pipe with an aluminum box culvert. The Applicant stated that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) required it to replace the recently-installed 48-inch culvert with an aluminum box culvert of sufficient size to pass the 25-year flood.
In the first appeal, both the Applicant and the PEMAs stated that the PW addressed only temporary work and did not include any of the permanent work required at the site. FEMA prepared PW 567 as a permanent work category C project. Nothing in the provisions of the PW indicated that FEMA or the Applicant believed that the project was temporary emergency work.
Additionally, hazard mitigation measures are only authorized as part of permanent repairs.
The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal by letter dated December 4, 2007. The Regional Administrator found that the facility had been returned to a condition that exceeded its pre-disaster capacity and there was no basis for additional funding.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal on March 11, 2008. The second appeal restates its position that the installation of the 48-inch pipe was temporary emergency work. The second appeal also includes an emergency permit from DEP dated May 25, 2007. The emergency permit was issued to remove a 4-ft diameter pipe damaged by Nov 2006 flood. The Applicant also provided a handwritten estimate of the cost of replacing the 48-inch pipe in the amount of $99,319 on the stationery of Forest Lake Township Supervisors. The second appeal does not include a directive from DEP to replace the 48-inch pipe; nor does it include a citation of a code or standard that required the repaired culvert to pass the 25-year flood.
FEMA may pay for upgrades that are necessary to meet specific requirements of reasonable current codes and standards. The codes or standards must be reasonable, in writing, and formally adopted and implemented prior to the disaster declaration date. The code or standard must also apply uniformly to all similar facilities within the Applicants jurisdiction. The code or standard must have been enforced during the time that it was in effect. The second appeal does not provide information sufficient to conclude that an adopted code required the replacement culvert to pass the 25-year flood.
I have reviewed all of the information submitted with the Applicants second appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrators decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance Program regulations and policies. Therefore, the appeal is denied.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Jonathan Sarubbi
FEMA Region III