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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 061-00000; Municipality of Guaynabo
PW ID# 15705; Pressure Wash Amelia Ward Sewer System
Citation: FEMA-1247-DR-PR; Municipality of Guaynabo; PW 15705
Cross-reference: Increased operating cost, insufficient documentation
Summary: Hurricane Georges passed over Puerto Rico on September 21, 1998, and caused electrical power outages to the storm/sewer system pumps in Amelia Ward. The Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority restored the power to the three Amelia Ward sewer system pumps by October 1, 1998. The Municipality of Guaynabo (Municipality) tasked a contractor to pressure clean the Amelia Ward storm/sewer system at $12.00 per linear foot (LF). The work was performed during October, November, and December 1998. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) #15705 on March 23, 1999, to fund the project, but upon review found the work to be ineligible because the Municipality did not submit sufficient evidence to prove that the hurricane produced excessive sewage that backed up when the pumps did not operate or that a public health threat existed.
The Office of the Governor's Authorized Representative (OGAR) forwarded the Municipalitys October 19, 2000, first appeal letter to FEMA on August 17, 2001. The Municipality asserted that the Secretary of Health had established that stagnant floodwater could pose a threat to life, health and safety. The Disaster Recovery Manager (DRM) denied the Municipalitys first appeal on September 21, 2001, because the Municipality failed to establish that excessive sewage backed up due to the Hurricane or that a public health threat existed in Amelia Ward.
On January 25, 2002, OGAR forwarded the Municipalitys November 26, 2001, second appeal letter to FEMA. In the second appeal letter, the Municipality stated that cleaning of the storm sewer system was an eligible emergency protective measure necessary to protect lives and public health and safety while ensuring the continuation of an essential public service.
Issues: Has the Municipality submitted documentation that establishes the existence of a threat to public health and safety? Has the Municipality demonstrated that the pressure cleaning exceeded the scope of the existing maintenance plan?
Findings: No, the letter from the Secretary of Health does not establish the existence of a threat to public health and safety in Amelia Ward following the hurricane. No, the invoices submitted do not establish the scope of the Municipalitys regular maintenance plan.
Rationale: 44 CFR § 206.223(a)(1); 44 CFR § 206.225