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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 000-URBG1-00; M & A Electric Power Cooperative
PW ID# 619; Additional Re-conductoring Costs
March 22, 2012
State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency
P.O. Box 116
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
Re: Second Appeal–M & A Electric Power Cooperative, PA ID 000-URBG1-00, Additional
Re-conductoring Costs, FEMA-1822-DR-MO, Project Worksheet (PW) 619
Dear Mr. Parmenter:
This letter is in response to a letter from the State of Missouri Department of Public Safety (State) dated July 21, 2011, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of M & A Electric Power Cooperative (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing that the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of funding in the amount of $1,912,533 for re-conductoring costs.
A severe winter storm occurring January 26 through January 28, 2009, damaged the Applicant’s electrical transmission system. The weight of accumulated ice broke power lines, power poles, and guy wires. FEMA obligated 10 Project Worksheets (PWs) for approximately $61,222,660 in funding to repair damage to the Applicant’s electrical transmission system. One of these projects, PW 619, FEMA prepared to document damage to approximately 133 miles of conductor line and obligated $19,924,907 for the PW on October 19, 2009.
On July 6, 2010, the Applicant requested a change in the scope of work (SOW) for PW 619 to include an additional 14.22 miles of transmission line, running from Kennett to Bucoda in Dunklin County, with an estimated additional cost of $1.9 million. The Applicant stated that the line damage was caused by extreme ice loading during the January 2009 disaster. In addition, the Applicant indicated that on July 6, 2009, an outage occurred when the conductor broke mid-span, and that a sample of the damaged conductor was sent to a test laboratory where it failed a series of tests. Lastly, the Applicant stated that its consulting engineers recommended that the line section be replaced as the sag was 20% greater than the design sag. On September 14, 2010, FEMA denied the request because the Applicant did not meet the deadline for identifying additional damage and because that segment of line was not previously identified for re-conductoring as it was not found to be out of compliance during FEMA’s project formulation.
The Applicant submitted a first appeal in a letter dated November 2, 2010. The Applicant stated that the first outage in the Kennett-Bucoda line section occurred on July 6, 2009, and a second outage occurred on June 17, 2010. The Applicant noted that there were no reported storms in the area during either power outage. The first appeal support documentation included a copy of the July 2010 request to change the SOW for the PW, copies of various switching and outage reports, and a copy of a line testing report from the National Electric Energy Testing Research and Applications Center.
Citing Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §206.202(d)(1)(ii), Application Procedures, Project Worksheets, the Regional Administrator denied the first appeal explaining that the Applicant did not meet the deadline for identifying additional damage, and that the Applicant did not demonstrate that the line damage was caused by the January 2009 storm.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal in a letter dated July 7, 2011, which the State transmitted to FEMA on July 21, 2011. The Applicant reiterated the position it claimed in the first appeal that the damage to the Kennett-Bucoda transmission line was caused by the January 2009 storm. The Applicant’s supporting documents included a copy of a M & A power outage analysis for the years 2000 through 2011, a copy of a July 7, 2011, letter from consulting engineers Allgeier, Martin and Associates, Inc., and a copy of a computer generated analysis of the Kennett-Bucoda transmission line.
In accordance with 44 CFR §206.202(d)(1)(ii), Application procedure, Project worksheets, “The applicant will have 60 days following its first substantive meeting with us to identify and to report damage to us.” The Applicant submitted a request for a change in the scope of work of the project to the State on July 6, 2010, more than a year after the Applicant Kick-off meeting. FEMA’s Public Assistance Guide (FEMA-322, June 2007, page 140) states that “when a change in scope of work or a need for additional funding is discovered, the applicant should notify the State as soon as possible...”, and that “the timing of the request should be such that the damaged elements can be inspected before it is covered up or repaired.”
In addition, a July 7, 2011, letter from the Applicant’s consulting engineers, Allgeier, Martin and Associates, Inc., states that the line damage cannot be attributed solely to the disaster as “it is difficult to absolutely prove that these increased sags were caused by the 2009 ice storm since we do not have sag data available to us immediately prior to the storm.” Lastly, neither the Applicant nor the State provided information to demonstrate extenuating circumstances that prevented the Applicant from submitting a request for a change in the SOW when the line section first failed on July 6, 2009.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrator’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policies. Accordingly, I am denying the Applicant’s 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.
cc: Beth Freeman
FEMA Region VII