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Second Appeal Brief
Citation: FEMA-1725-DR-ND Nodak Electric Cooperative Enviornmental Review; Project Worksheet (PW) 6
PA ID# 000-URHXF-00; Nodak Electric Cooperative
PW ID# Project Worksheet 6; Enviornmental Review
Summary: During the tornado of July 15, 2007, six electrical poles were broken causing an outage to approximately 255 households. Three of the poles were located in water that was deeper than normal equipment could easily access. Service was restored by temporarily feeding the outage area from an alternate circuit. To permanently restore power, the Applicant buried a replacement cable in accordance with its standard practices and energized the new line on July 28, 2007. FEMA wrote a PW for the project, but did not obligate funds because it determined that the work was completed prior to the September 7, 2007, declaration date. The Applicant completed the project before FEMA could conduct the required environmental assessment The Regional Environmental Officer determined that the project was not statutorily excluded from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. As a result, on November 7, 2007, FEMA deemed the project ineligible for reimbursement.
The Applicant submitted the first appeal on December 14, 2007. The Applicant stated that it completed the permanent repairs as quickly as possible to mitigate future outage problems, and requested that FEMA reverse the denial of the claim. The Response and Recovery Division Director denied the first appeal in a letter dated January 29, 2008, because the Applicant completed the project before FEMA could conduct an environmental review as required and outlined in 44 CFR Part 10.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal on March 17, 2007, requesting that FEMA reconsider the eligibility of the project. No additional documentation was provided.
Issues: Was an environmental review required prior to beginning the repair work?
Rationale: 44 CFR Part 10.