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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 015-UJPPR-00; South Caddo Conservation District
PW ID# 1279; Replacement of Trees
August 13, 2009
Fred W. Liebe
State Coordinating Officer
Department of Emergency Management
State of Oklahoma
P.O. Box 53365
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3365
Re: Second AppealSouth Caddo Conservation District, PA ID 015-UKPPR-00, Replacement
, FEMA-1718-DR-OK, Project Worksheet (PW) 1279
Dear Mr. Liebe:
This letter is in response to your letter dated September 19, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the South Caddo Conservation District (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) denial of $354,126 to replace trees in Sugar Creek Watershed.
Rainstorms on August 19, 2007, caused flood damage in Caddo County, including wash-out of black locust trees that were used for erosion control in Sugar Creek Watershed. FEMA prepared PW 1279 in March 2008 for $354,126 to replace 231,150 black locust trees along the banks of Sugar Creek. During final review, FEMA determined that the work was ineligible because trees are not eligible for replacement under Section 406 of the Stafford Act (Repair, Restoration, and Replacement of Damaged Facilities
) and Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9524.5, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Plantings Associated with Facilities
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (ODEM) transmitted the Applicants first appeal on June 19, 2008. The Applicant claimed that
FEMA misapplied its policy (Policy 9524.5) by denying funding to replace a vital watershed that it had previously agreed to fund. In a letter dated August 18, 2008, the Regional Administrator denied the appeal stating that the Sugar Creek Watershed did not meet FEMAs definition of a facility under 44 CFR §206.201(c). Therefore, the replacement of trees was not eligible for Public Assistance funding.
ODEM transmitted the Applicants second appeal on September 19, 2008. The Applicant asserts that the Sugar Creek Watershed meets the definition of a facility because it is a publicly and privately owned system, it is maintained, and it is an improved natural feature. The Applicant provided information that it claimed supported its assertion. The Applicant also provided information to support its claim that it purchased the black locust trees to control erosion, and to meet existing maintenance requirements.
The replacement of trees is not eligible for Public Assistance funding pursuant to Disaster Assistance Policy 9524.5, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Plantings Associated with Facilities
, dated July 18, 2007. The policy states in pertinent part that, Trees, shrubs, and other plantings are not eligible for replacement under Section 406 of the Stafford Act (Repair, Restoration, and Replacement of Damaged Facilities).
We have reviewed all information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrators decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance 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, Appeals.
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Gary Jones
Acting Regional Administrator
FEMA Region VI