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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 097-UGBU4-00; Granton Community Services District
PW ID# 2776; Hazard Mitigation
July 23, 2009
Governors Authorized Representative
California Emergency Management Agency
Response and Recovery Division
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, California 95655
Re: Second AppealGranton Community Services District, PA ID 097-UGBU4-00Hazard Mitigation
, FEMA-1628-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 2776
Dear Mr. McCarton:
This is in response to your letter dated November 21, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Granton Community Services District (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of $1,496,573, in funding for a Hazard Mitigation Proposal (HMP).
As a result of heavy rains from the 2005-2006 winter storms, flood waters overtopped a 2,000-linear foot-long by eight-foot high earthen berm located at a wastewater treatment facility. The flooding eroded the berm and deposited six to eight inches of berm material and silt into two aerator ponds and one settling pond. On March 19, 2006, FEMA approved PW 2776 for $180,478, to restore the ponds to their pre-disaster condition. On August 27, 2007, FEMA prepared version one of PW 2776 to reflect the actual costs of the above-mentioned work, which totaled $480,813. On July 26, 2007, the Applicant sent a letter requesting that FEMA fund a HMP for PW 2776, to protect its facilities against a 100-year flood event. In a letter dated November 8, 2007, FEMA determined that the Applicant was proposing to construct a new floodwall around the entire wastewater treatment plant. Therefore, FEMA determined the HMP was not eligible because the HMP was to provide protection to undamaged elements of the facility.
The Applicant stated in its first appeal, submitted January 9, 2008, that FEMA mischaracterized the proposed HMP as a new facility. Rather, the Applicant asserted that it was proposing to increase the height of the existing berm above the 100-year flood elevation. Furthermore, the Applicant argued that the floodwaters caused erosion to over 218 cubic yards of berm material. Therefore, the berm was a disaster-related damaged element of the wastewater treatment facility. The Deputy Regional Administrator denied the appeal on July 9, 2008, stating that Section 406 Mitigation can only be applied to the damaged portions of a facility, and building a concrete
floodwall around the entire facility would provide protection to elements of the facility that were not damaged by the disaster.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal dated September 22, 2008. The Applicant provided documentation demonstrating it was not feasible to elevate the existing levees with fill material. Raising the berm elevation in this manner would require widening the base thereby encroaching upon nearby creeks. In addition, the Applicant provided documentation clarifying that the HMP is for the construction of a four-foot tall concrete wall on top of the existing berm rather than for a new concrete floodwall that would encompass the existing berm. The Applicant also provided documentation demonstrating that this is the most cost-effective design option.
Section 406 of the Stafford Act provides discretionary authority to fund mitigation measures in conjunction with the repair of damaged facilities. As described in Response and Recovery Policy 9526.1, Hazard Mitigation funding under Section 406,
dated August 13, 1998, which was in effect for this disaster, the mitigation measures must be cost effective and related to eligible disaster-related damages and reduce the potential of future, similar disaster damages to the eligible facility.
I have reviewed all information submitted with the appeal, including the Applicants Benefit Cost Analysis. The Applicant has demonstrated that the HMP is cost effective. The HMP will protect the damaged berm and aerator ponds and reduces the likelihood of future, similar damages. The Applicants HMP is consistent with the eligibility requirements of Response and Recovery Policy 9526.1. Therefore, I am approving the second appeal. By copy of this letter, I am requesting that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement my decision.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX