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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 077-99077-00; Jackson County
PW ID# 483; Food Safety Inspection Costs
May 12, 2010
David L. Smith
Disaster Assistance and Preparedness
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
1035 Outer Park Drive, Springfield, IL 62704-4462
Re: Second Appeal–Jackson County, PA ID 077-99077-00, Food Safety Inspection Costs,
FEMA-1850-DR-IL, Project Worksheet (PW) 483
Dear Mr. Smith:
This is in response to your letter dated December 29, 2009, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of Jackson County (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of $10,232 for food safety inspection costs.
Severe storms and high winds during the declared major disaster caused widespread electrical outages throughout Jackson County. During the week after the disaster, the Jackson County Health Department conducted field visits to food service businesses to ensure potentially unsafe food was disposed of, and to verify that food services met minimum requirements before being allowed to reopen and start serving food to the public. The Applicant submitted costs for force account labor, mileage for personal vehicle use, and meals and supplies associated with 177 food safety inspections. The Applicant normally conducted 15 inspections per week. FEMA determined that the costs associated with conducting the food safety inspections following the power outages were not eligible for Public Assistance funding.
In a letter dated October 20, 2009, the Applicant submitted its first appeal. The Applicant claimed that the field visit costs were short-term costs related to ensuring public health and safety. In addition, these costs were similar to water-testing costs incurred in the aftermath of a disaster to counter a specific threat, which FEMA listed in the Public Assistance Guide (FEMA 322) as potentially eligible costs. In a letter dated November 12, 2009, the Acting Regional Administrator denied the first appeal because it determined that additional food safety inspections were ineligible increased operating expenses.
In a letter dated December 17, 2009, the Applicant submitted its second appeal. The Applicant reiterates its argument that the additional food safety inspections were necessary to protect public health and safety and FEMA should consider these costs reasonable short-term costs.
The Applicant normally inspects food service businesses to ensure the owners comply with applicable county codes. Although the Applicant performed more inspections than normal immediately after the disaster, the inspections were for code compliance purposes and are not considered eligible emergency protective measures under the Public Assistance program.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Acting Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
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
cc: Janet Odeshoo
Acting Regional Administrator
FEMA Region V