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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-U03C1-00; South Florida Water Management District
PW ID# Various Project Worksheet (PWs) ; Flood Control Works
Conclusion: FEMA correctly de-obligated $22,726,838 of funding for disaster-related repairs to the SFWMD’s (Applicant) canals and related flood control facilities because the work fell under the authority of other federal agencies. Further, the protections afforded to an applicant under Stafford Act §§705(a) and 705(c) are not applicable to this matter. Finally, the Applicant is entitled to recoup $792,000 in costs associated with the repair of an access road because the work on this road did not fall under the authority of another federal agency.
Hurricanes struck Florida in 2004 and 2005, resulting in 4 major disaster declarations. FEMA obligated funding for 52 PWs to fund disaster-related repairs to the Applicant’s canals and related flood control facilities. In 2012, FEMA de-obligated the funding, $23,518, 838, because the PWs funded work that fell under the authority of other federal agencies. The Applicant is appealing FEMA’s de-obligations and cites the following reasons: (1) The de-obligations are barred by the 3-year statute of limitations established by the Stafford Act § 705(a); (2) The de-obligations are contrary to the protections that the Stafford Act § 705(c) provides to the Applicant; and (3) FEMA is not barred from funding the projects at issue because of doctrine regarding the funding of projects that fall under the authority of other federal agencies. The Applicant also notes that its second appeal serves “to prevent FEMA from seeking a dismissal of related litigation for failure to exhaust all administrative remedies.” Additionally, the Grantee contends that $792,000 in costs associated with the repair of an access road was not part of any flood control work and was de-obligated in error.
- Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act § 705(a) and (c), 42 U.S.C. § 5205 (a)(c) (2007);
- 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 13;
- 33 CFR Part 203 (Subpart D);
- 7 CFR § 624.6(b);
- 44 CFR § 206.226(a); and
- Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) 9524.3 (September 11, 1996).
- Stafford Act § 705(a) provides a statute of limitations barring FEMA from de-obligating funds more than 3-years from the date of the “final expenditure report for the disaster or emergency.” 44 CFR Part 13 defines “expenditure report” but does not directly link to the “final expenditure report” referred to in Stafford Act § 705(a).
- Stafford Act § 705(c)(1) prohibits FEMA from de-obligating grant funds provided to a state or local government under the Stafford Act where “the payment was authorized by an approved agreement specifying the costs.”
- 44 CFR § 206.226(a) provides: “generally, disaster assistance will not be made available under the Stafford Act when another Federal agency has specific authority to restore facilities damaged or destroyed by an event which is declared a major disaster.”