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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-U7VTP-00; State of Washington Department of Health
PW ID# 1198; Vaccines
March 11, 2010
Deputy State Coordinating Officer, Public Assistance
State of Washington Military Department
Emergency Management Division
MS: TA-20, Building 20
Camp Murray, Washington 98430-5122
Re: Second Appeal-State of Washington Department of Health, PA ID 000-U7VTP-00,
Vaccines, FEMA-1734-DR-WA, Project Worksheet (PW) 1198
Dear Mr. Urbas:
This is in response to your letter dated May 11, 2009, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the State of Washington Department of Health (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of $119,026 for vaccines and associated medical supplies.
The flooding from December 1, 2007, through December 17, 2007, contaminated drinking water and destroyed water sources, creating public health risks in 12 declared western counties in the State of Washington. FEMA prepared PW 1198 for $119,026 for the vaccination costs for vaccines purchased and supplied to disaster victims, emergency workers and personnel living or working in sheltering facilities. FEMA determined the costs ineligible based on Response and Recovery Policy 9525.4, Medical Care and Evacuations, dated August 17, 1999, and obligated $0.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on July 14, 2008, requesting $119,026 for vaccines, needles and syringes for Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations provided to disaster workers and affected citizens. The Applicant argued that the vaccinations were eligible under the revised Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9525.4, Emergency Medical Care and Medical Evacuations, dated July 15, 2008. In a letter dated January 12, 2009, the Acting Regional Administrator denied the appeal because the costs requested were not eligible under Response and Recovery Policy 9525.4, Medical Care and Evacuations, dated August 17, 1999, the policy in effect at the time of the disaster.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on March 16, 2009, requesting $119,026 for the purchase of the vaccines, needles and syringes. The Applicant re-asserts that Response and Recovery Policy 9525.4, Medical Care and Evacuations, dated August 17, 1999, does not apply because the Applicant provided preventive measures and not medical treatment. The Applicant also argues that Response and Recovery Policy 9525.4, Medical Care and Evacuations, dated August 17, 1999, is in conflict with the intent of the Stafford Act and its implementing regulations.
Response and Recovery Policy 9525.4, Medical Care and Evacuations, dated August 17, 1999, was in effect on the date of the disaster event and explicitly excluded vaccinations as an eligible cost. Therefore, there is no basis for FEMA to fund the vaccination expenses. Under FEMA’s current policy dated July 16, 2008, the costs of vaccinations are eligible expenses. However, FEMA cannot retroactively apply the current policy. 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
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Dennis A. Hunsinger, PhD
Acting Regional Administrator
FEMA Region X