PA ID# 000-UCPOY-00; Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
PW ID# 01545; Cameron Creole Watershed Project Levee
Citation: FEMA-1792-DR-LA, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Cameron Creole Watershed Project Levee, Project Worksheet (PW) 01545 Cross- Reference: Other Federal Agencies
Summary: In 2008, storm surge and high winds from Hurricane Ike caused significant damage to the northern 14.5 miles of the Cameron Creole Watershed Project Levee. This levee, funded under the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), is overseen by a Task Force with both State and Federal representatives, with a joint cost sharing agreement (CSA) between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (Applicant) for operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the levee. FEMA prepared PW 01545 to repair four levee breaches with approximately 133,332 cubic yards of levee material in the amount of $9,714,381. On August 16, 2010, FEMA denied funding for the repairs determining that the repairs were under the specific authority of NRCS.
The Applicant’s first appeal argued that NRCS has no specific authority over repairs required as a result of a declared disaster and provided a letters from the NRCS dated July 22, 2009 and August 31, 2010, supporting this position. The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal because CSA states that the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the project and funding are the responsibility of the Applicant and NRCS. Within the CSA, maintenance is defined as any action that is required to maintain the project at as-built standards. Thus, the Regional Administrator concluded that the conditions of the CSA did not place limitations on the maintenance such as disallowing major repairs or significant maintenance required as a result of a declared disaster. The Applicant’s second appeal reiterated its request for funding, and restated its position that NRCS does not have specific authority for disaster-related repairs. The letters submitted by the NRCS note that it does not have specific authority to repair or replace facilities that have been damaged or destroyed by a declared major disaster event.
Issue: Is another Federal Agency responsible for funding the repair of the levee?
Finding: Yes. The CSA establishes that any action to maintain the facility is funded by NRCS.
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.226(a) Restoration of Damaged Facilities, Assistance under other Federal agency (OFA) programs.