Citation: FEMA-1545-DR-FL and FEMA-1561-DR-FL; Delta Farms Water Control District
Reference: Improved Property; Emergency Protective Measures
Summary: In response to torrential rains associated with Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in September 2004, the Delta Farms Water Control District (Applicant) conducted emergency pumping operations to prevent damage to commercially-owned agricultural land. FEMA did not prepare a project worksheet because these projects and their associated costs are not eligible for Public Assistance funding. On December 30, 2008, the Applicant requested reimbursement of these costs and noted that FEMA had approved the Applicant’s emergency pumping project in response to Tropical Storm Fay. FEMA denied this request because the Applicant submitted its request four years after its kickoff meeting. The Applicant appealed this determination on April 15, 2010. FEMA denied the Applicant’s appeal on July 15, 2010, because agricultural land and increased operating costs are not eligible. The Applicant submitted its second appeal on September 27, 2010. The Applicant stated that it did not contest FEMA’s decision prior to December 30, 2008, because it followed FEMA’s eligibility determination. Following FEMA’s initial eligibility determination for Tropical Storm Fay, the Applicant argued that its emergency pumping operation in response to Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne should also have been eligible for reimbursement. The Applicant also contested FEMA’s determination that agricultural land is not improved property. FEMA’s initial eligibility determinations for emergency pumping operations in response to Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne are correct. Pursuant to 44 CFR §206.221(d), Improved property, land that is improved for agricultural purposes is not improved property. FEMA has also taken action to recoup funds that were disbursed in error for the Applicant’s emergency pumping operation on agricultural land in response to Tropical Storm Fay.
Issue: Is agricultural land improved property?
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.221(d), Improved property