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Second Appeal Analysis
PA ID# 037-99037-00; County of Los Angeles
PW ID# PW 2980; Beach Repair
Storm surge and wave action associated with the winter storms of December 27, 2004, through January 11, 2005, (FEMA-1577-DR-CA), resulted in the erosion of near-shore and off-shore beach sand from Redondo Beach. The beach sustained damage along approximately 1,500 feet of its 8,000-foot length. The County of Los Angeles (Applicant) requested funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to restore the beach to its pre-disaster condition. FEMA determined that permanent restoration of the beach was ineligible because the Applicant failed to establish legal responsibility for the facility, the Applicant provided inconsistent documentation for the length of the facility, and the facility did not meet the criteria for permanent restoration of a beach, established in 44 CFR §206.226(j)(2), Restoration of Damaged Facilities,
Beaches ,Improved beaches: Work on an improved beach may be eligible under the following conditions: (i) The beach was constructed by the placement of sand (of proper grain size) to a designed elevation, width, and slope; and (ii) A maintenance program involving periodic renourishment of sand must have been established and adhered to by the applicant.First Appeal
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on November 9, 2005. The Applicant requested $2,284,910 to restore 31,000 cubic yards (CY) of sand at Redondo Beach. The Regional Director denied the appeal on August 14, 2006, because the beach did not meet the maintenance program criteria established in 44 CFR §206.226(j)(2)(ii), Restoration of Damaged Facilities,
Beaches, Improved beaches.Second Appeal
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on October 16, 2006. The Applicant maintained that it has satisfied the requirements of 44 CFR §206.226(j)(2)(ii), Restoration of Damaged Facilities,
Beaches, Improved beaches. In order to support its claim, the Applicant submitted a copy of its Sand Renourishment Policy and charts that measure the width of the beach, north of Topaz Groin, from November 2002, through September 2006. DISCUSSION
FEMA has reviewed the documentation that the Applicant provided in its first and second appeals with consideration to the following questions:
1. Is there an established and adhered to maintenance program to preserve the design?
The Applicant stated that it utilizes opportunity nourishments to maintain the beach because the annual erosion of sand is negligible. In order to support its claim that a maintenance plan is not needed, the Applicant provided two charts demonstrating the width of the beach each month from November 2002, through August 2006. The Applicant did not clarify whether these charts provide one measurement or an average of several measurements. In addition, the Applicant did not specify the location of the measurement(s). A footer at the bottom of the charts notes that the widths were taken from the Topaz Groin, but it does not indicate on which side of the groin that they were taken. This is a critical omission since the groin separates two project areas, each with distinct beach characteristics and it cannot be assumed that the measurements taken from one side of the groin are uniform or interchangeable with the other side.
The Applicants claim that a maintenance plan is not needed, or that opportunity nourishments constitute a maintenance plan, is not valid. Even areas of low annual erosion need a renourishment plan to account for periodic erosion from severe events. Opportunity nourishments are as-needed nourishments. The Applicants maintenance plan is to wait until the beach has eroded to an unimproved or critical condition before it nourishes the beach.
The Applicant also provided a copy of its Department of Beaches and Harbors Sand Renourishment Program policy, dated March 1, 2003, that addresses maintenance with the following statement:
The Department will proactively pursue sources of sand for beach renourishment, and shall, prior to placement of sand on any beach, ensure the sand is tested for compatibility; andThe Department shall maintain a priority list of beaches needing renourishment, which priority list shall be reviewed and updated at least semi-annually, in March and September, with every effort made to place new sources of sand on the highest priority beaches
This policy is not a maintenance plan for beach nourishment; it merely describes how the Applicant will select beach nourishment projects when funds are available. The policy does not state that the beach will be renourished when an identified condition (beach width, volume of sand, etc.) is present.
2. What amount of sand was removed from the project area by the incident event?
The Applicant requested funding to replace sand eroded between stations 306+65 and 327 +00, demarcated on its beach width charts. The erosion volumes were calculated using USACE surveys from 2002, and 2005. Based on the documentation provided, the Applicant only monitors the beach width and has not done any cross sections or detailed surveys, and relies on USACE for data for Redondo Beach. The computed volumes are not valid because the period between surveys is too long. Based on the Applicants beach width charts, the beach had eroded some between 2002 and the declared disaster. That amount of erosion would need to be estimated and subtracted to yield the loss of sand from the disaster. This is not possible due large gaps between the Applicants renourishment projects. Additionally, the lack of detailed monitoring records also supports our finding that the Applicant does not have a maintenance plan. CONCLUSION
FEMA has determined that the Applicant did not have a maintenance program, involving periodic renourishment of sand, in place at the time of the declared disaster. Therefore, the repair of Redondo Beach is not eligible for funding under the Public Assistance Program.