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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-U03AE-00; Florida Department of Environmental Protection
PW ID# PW 20; Sea Oat Plant Replacement Costs
Citation: FEMA-1539-DR-FL, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Sea Oat Plant Replacement Costs, Project Worksheet (PW) 20
Reference: Facility Eligibility; Work Eligibility
Summary: The storm surge associated with Hurricane Gustav destroyed an estimated 175,000 sea oat plants on dunes at St. George Island State Park. The Applicant requested a project worksheet be prepared for funding in the amount of $262,500 to replenish sea oat plants. On March 16, 2009, FEMA prepared PW 20 and denied the Applicant’s request for Public Assistance funding because the dunes were part of the natural beach for which there was no beach maintenance program and because the natural beach was not an eligible facility.
The Applicant submitted a first appeal on December 31, 2009, and stated that the sea oats had been planted for the purpose of dune erosion control and that St. George Island State Park personnel maintained the beach and dunes on a regular basis. The Applicant further stated it believed that FEMA’s decision to not fund the project was based on miscommunications between FEMA and the Applicant’s personnel, which resulted in an inaccurate scope of work being written for PW 20.
On September July 22, 2010, the Regional Administrator cited 44 CFR §206.201(c), Definitions used in the subpart, Facility and 44 CFR §206.226(j)(2), Restoration of damaged facilities, Beaches, as the basis for denying the first appeal. The Regional Administrator explained that St. George Island State Park natural dunes do not meet the Federal regulation definition of an eligible facility and only improved beaches with an established maintenance program may be eligible for a grant.
Issues: 1. Are the natural dunes at St. George Island State Park an eligible facility as defined in the regulation?
2. Is planting grass as an erosion control measure at an otherwise ineligible facility eligible for Public Assistance?
Findings: 1. No.
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.201(c), Definitions used in the subpart; Disaster Assistance Policy 9524.5, Trees, Shrubs, and Other Plantings Associated with Facilities dated July 18, 2007