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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 081-UQWVX-00; San Mateo County Transit District
PW ID# Project Worksheet 706; Transportation Service
December 3, 2008
Acting Governors Authorized Representative
Governors Office of Emergency Services
Response and Recovery Division
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, California 95655
Re: Second AppealSan Mateo County Transit District, PA ID 081-UQWVX-00,Transportation Service
, FEMA-1646-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 206
Dear Mr. McCarton:
This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated December 12, 2007, transmitting the referenced San Mateo County Transit District (Applicant) second appeal. The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of funding for transportation costs as detailed on PW 206.
As a result of disaster-related damage, Highway 1 was impassable and closed temporarily for repair. Due to the road closure, public bus transportation service between Montara and Pacifica was disrupted. The Applicant provided supplementary bus service to ensure continuation of public transportation for the affected communities while Highway 1 was closed. FEMA denied the Applicants request for $155,044 and additional costs related to the supplemental transportation stating that the cost was an increased operating expense.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on January 18, 2007. The Applicant claimed that the cost should be eligible in accordance with 44 CFR §206.225(d), which governs emergency public transportation. The appeal also referenced the Public Assistance (PA) Guide and Policy Digest to support that emergency transportation is eligible for assistance. On July 30, 2007, FEMA denied the appeal stating that the work may meet eligibility criteria established under 44 CFR §206.225(d), but FEMA is authorized to provide emergency transportation only in the form of Direct Federal Assistance under Section 419 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act).
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on October 10, 2007, and reiterated the argument of the first appeal. The transmittal letter of the Applicants second appeal contended that
Section 419 of the Stafford Act does not limit authorization for emergency public transportation to Direct Federal Assistance.
Section 419 of the Stafford Act is separate from, and administered differently from, authorities which allow reimbursement to applicants for disaster costs. Section 419 of the law states that The President is authorized to provide
temporary public transportation service
[Emphasis added.] FEMA implemented this authority through the Direct Federal Assistance mechanism described in 44 CFR §206.208. Emergency transportation is not otherwise eligible for PA Program Assistance. The text of PA Program documents, including 44 CFR §206.225(d), is based on and in the context of Section 419 of the Stafford Act and 44 CFR §206.208.
We have reviewed all the information submitted with the appeal, and have determined that the Deputy Regional Administrators decision in the first appeal is consistent with PA Program law, regulations, and policies. Therefore, the appeal is denied.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX