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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 073-UJWLR-00; Rincon Ranch Community Services District
PW ID# 375; Debris Removal
SECOND APPEAL BRIEF
Rincon Ranch Community Services District, PA ID 073-UJWLR-00
Debris Removal, Project Worksheet (PW) 375
Citation: FEMA-1731-DR-CA, Rincon Ranch Community Services District, Debris Removal, Project Worksheet (PW) 375
Reference: Debris Removal
Summary: On January 4, 2008, FEMA amended the wildfire declaration to expand the incident type for the disaster to include flooding, mudflows, and debris flows directly related to the wildfires. The amendment stated that only those areas that the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) determined on a case-by-case basis to be damaged or adversely affected would be eligible. FEMA prepared PW 375 for the Rincon Ranch Community Services District (Applicant) for $34,850 for Category C work to repair the Applicant’s roads that were damaged by the wildfires. However, FEMA determined that $20,383 associated with mud and debris flows was ineligible.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal June 11, 2008, arguing that removal of the mudflow debris was necessary as a direct result of the wildfires. The Applicant sustained damage as a result of heavy rains that washed debris down the denuded hillsides. This debris blocked the Applicant’s roadways, clogged culverts, and destroyed sections of fencing. The Applicant incurred costs in the amount of $20,383 for post-fire debris removal and fencing repairs. The Applicant asserted that it was not reasonable for FEMA to determine that only the La Jolla and Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians warranted inclusion under the amendment. In a letter dated February 2, 2009, the Acting Regional Administrator denied the appeal, stating that the Applicant did not provide sufficient documentation to establish that the event impacted the Applicant to such extent and intensity as to warrant inclusion under Amendment Number Two.
In a letter dated March 26, 2009, the Applicant submitted its second appeal, reasserting its original argument that the damage sustained and the work performed are eligible for reimbursement under Amendment Number Two.
Issues: Is the post-fire debris removal work that the Applicant performed eligible under the amended declaration for public assistance?
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.31-40; 44 CFR §206.223, General work eligibility