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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-U03E9-00; Florida Department of Transportation
PW ID# Project Worksheeet 9146; Safety Inspections
October 14, 2008
W. Craig Fugate
Florida Division of Emergency Management
2555 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Re: Second AppealFlorida Department of Transportation, PA ID 000-U03E9-00,Safety Inspections
, FEMA-1609-DR-FL, Project Worksheet (PW) 9146
Dear Mr. Fugate:
This is in response to your letter dated May 27, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of funding for inspections of bridges, signs, and lighting systems in Broward, Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties, collectively known as District Four.
Following Hurricane Wilma, the Applicant conducted structural safety inspections of bridges, signs, and lighting systems throughout District Four. On June 13, 2006, FEMA prepared PW 9146 for $1,950,000. On August 15, 2006, FEMA determined that the work was not eligible for Public Assistance funding because the work was the responsibility of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and because damage surveys are not eligible for FEMA reimbursement.
The Applicant filed a first appeal dated August 13, 2007, stating that the inspections were not eligible for reimbursement under FHWA Emergency Relief (ER) funding, but the work was eligible for Public Assistance reimbursement because the inspections were performed as emergency protective measures to establish if the condition of the facilities posed an immediate threat to public safety. In a letter dated February 28, 2008, FEMAs Regional Administrator denied the first appeal because the Applicant did not establish that the work in question met the definition of emergency work as defined under 44 CFR
§206.201(b), . . . work which must be done immediately to save lives and to protect improved property and public health and safety, or to avert or lessen the threat of a major disaster. The Regional Administrator noted that the inspections were performed throughout an eight-month period during which time the roadways remained opened to the traveling public, indicating that there was no immediate threat to public safety. Consequently, the Regional Administrator concluded that these inspections were, in fact, damage assessments used to determine the location and nature of work necessary to make repairs to the damaged facilities.
On May 27, 2008, the Applicant argues in its second appeal that the Public Assistance program regularly reimburses for Federal Aid roads citing debris removal operations. The Applicant also notes that the FHWA ER manual specifically excludes safety as a justification for emergency repair eligibility; construction safety inspections are not random surveys; the inspections were required by state and Federal laws; and the work should be an eligible emergency protective measure under FEMA regulations and policy.
The Applicant performed safety inspections on FHWA system roads over an eight-month period following the disaster. FEMA does not fund the inspection or repair of damages to FHWA system roads and bridges. Based on review of all information submitted with the appeal, I have determined that the Regional Administrators decision on the first appeal is consistent with program statute and policies. Therefore, the appeal is denied.
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: Major P. May