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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 071-55000-00; City of New Orleans
PW ID# 6155; Electrical Safety Inspections
Citation: FEMA-1603-DR-LA; City of New Orleans (Applicant), PW 6155 v1
Reference: Emergency Protective Measures, Work Eligibility
Summary: Residential, commercial and other private sector buildings throughout the City of New Orleans were damage or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding due to the levee breech. The Applicant requested reimbursement in the amount of $11,074,392 for the exterior and interior electrical safety inspections performed on these structures between January 2006 and June 2007. FEMA determined that the exterior building inspections constituted safety inspections and were eligible for emergency work funding, but not the interior inspections because the Applicant did not have the legal responsibility to inspect the interior portion of the structures. FEMA prepared PW 6155 under Category B, Emergency Protective Measures for $2,006,423 to reimburse the Applicant for the exterior electrical safety inspection of these structures and obligated an additional $4,890,605 under PW 6155 v1 for a cumulative total of $6,897,028.
In its first appeal dated April 23, 2008, the Applicant argued that it had the legal responsibility to perform safety inspections of both the exterior and interior of a residential or commercial property as the work was necessary to determine if an immediate threat to life, public health and safety existed and asked for $4,177,364 for the costs of the interior inspections. FEMA requested additional information related to the nature of the inspections. Based on the Applicant’s documentation and responses, the Regional Administrator concluded that the inspections were not emergency safety inspections, but building code enforcement activity related to the repairing and rebuilding of these structures and deobligated the $6,897,028 FEMA previously awarded. The Applicant submitted its second appeal on February 10, 2009, arguing that the inspections were required to restore power safely and avoid the danger of fire to homes and businesses.
Issue: Are the electrical inspections to determine if power could be restored to a home or business eligible work under Category B, Emergency Protective Measures?
Finding: Yes. Two of ten types of inspections performed are eligible emergency protective
Rationale: Policy 9523.2, Eligibility of Building Inspections in a Post-Disaster Environment (June 23, 1998)