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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-UBZZQ-00; University of Alabama
PW ID# 2201; Legal Responsibility
Conclusion: The authority the State of Alabama granted to law enforcement officers, including the Applicant’s police officers, established Applicant’s legal responsibility for the work performed.
On April 27, 2011, a tornado destroyed sections of Tuscaloosa County. The Applicant performed emergency response activities including search and rescue, security in damaged areas, and maintaining access routes for emergency response vehicles. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 2201 for $516,367 to reimburse the Applicant for costs associated with those activities but found the PW ineligible. FEMA determined that the Applicant performed the work in accordance with a 1994 local mutual aid agreement (MAA) which states that no party to the agreement shall be required to pay compensation for services rendered. In its first appeal, the Applicant stated it has the legal responsibility to perform search and rescue operations on property not owned or leased by the Applicant as a “Primary Agency” under the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP.) The FEMA Region IV Regional Administrator denied the first appeal stating that the Applicant derived its legal responsibility from the MAA, and the Applicant was a “Providing Entity” as defined by Disaster Assistance Policy DAP 9523.6, Mutual Aid Agreements for Public Assistance and Fire Management Assistance and is ineligible for FEMA assistance for the mutual aid provided. The Applicant’s second appeal asserts that FEMA relied on the incorrect agreement as its basis for denying the appeal and that the 1994 MAA was no longer in effect because it was superseded by the EOP.
- DAP 9523.6, Mutual Aid Agreements for Public Assistance and Fire Management Assistance (Aug. 13, 2007) at 7.
- Ala. Code § 16-47-11(a) (2011).
- Letter from Office of the Attorney General, State of Alabama to Member, Alabama House of Representatives (Apr. 24, 2002).
- Legal Opinion of the State of Alabama Office of Attorney General (July 16, 2014)
- In accordance with Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) 9523.6, generally, only Requesting Entities are eligible applicants under the Public Assistance program.
- According to a legal opinion from the Office of Attorney General for the State of Alabama, the Attorney General interprets § 16-47-11(a) to grant authority to the Applicant’s police officers to conduct search, rescue, and recovery operations off-campus on property not owned or leased by the Applicant.
- Applicant has demonstrated that it had legal authority to perform the work that was independent of both the EOP and the 1994 MAA.