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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 001-99001-00; Albany County
PW ID# Project Worksheet 2175; Snow Removal
September 29, 2008
John A. Agostino
Alternate Governors Authorized Representative
New York State Emergency Management Office
1220 Washington Avenue
Building 22, Suite 101
Albany, NY 12226-2251
Re: Second AppealAlbany County, PA ID 001-99001-00, Snow Removal
FEMA-1692-DR-NY, Project Worksheet (PW) 2175
Dear Mr. Agostino:
This letter is in response to your letter dated May 30, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of Albany County (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of $67,342 snow removal costs.
As a result of the severe storms and inland and coastal flooding on April 14-18, 2007, the Applicant used force account labor, material, and equipment for general roadway snow removal, sanding, and salting. FEMA prepared PW 2175 for emergency protective measures. However, FEMA determined the requested snow removal costs were ineligible, because the event was not declared as a snow, or severe winter storm/snow emergency.
In its first appeal letter dated September 13, 2007, and transmitted by your office in a letter dated November 14, 2007, the Applicant states that FEMA misapplied 44 CFR §206.227. The Applicant argues that the snow removal activities lessened immediate threats of significant additional damage to improved public or private property as eligible emergency protective measures. The Applicant states that plowing and salting the roads drained that precipitation prior to additional rain on April 16, 2007, and lessened or eliminated potential additional flooding. In a letter dated February 12, 2008, the Regional Administrator denied the appeal because the State did not request, and the President did not include, snow removal costs in the declaration.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal in an e-mail message dated May 15, 2008. In your letter, you reiterate that neither the Stafford Act nor the Code of Federal Regulations requires States to specify emergency actions that it seeks reimbursement for in the Governors request for a major disaster declaration. You also assert that FEMA approved and funded PWs
for Category B, emergency protective measures, for snow removal from roads and rights-of-way in FEMA-1665-DR-NY.
44 CFR §206.227, Snow Assistance
, states that Emergency or major disaster declarations based on snow or blizzard conditions will be made only for cases of record or near record snowstorms
Response and Recovery Directorate Policy Number 9523.1, Snow Assistance
, dated December 28, 1999, states that FEMA will provide limited assistance for snow removal only when the incident type is snow or snowfall. The State requested, and the President declared, a snow emergency on October 15, 2006, (FEMA-3268-EM-NY) specifically authorizing reimbursement for snow removal costs for a limited period of time. The President subsequently declared a major disaster for severe storms and flooding for the same areas on October 24, 2006. Because the emergency and major declarations were separated by only nine days, FEMA approved limited snow removal costs under FEMA-1665-DR-NY in order to streamline administrative processes. FEMA-DR-NY was declared on April 24, 2007, for severe storms and inland and coastal flooding. Based on Response and Recovery Policy Number 9523.1, snow assistance is not authorized for this type of declaration.
I have reviewed all of the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrators decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Stephen Kempf, Jr.
FEMA Region II