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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-UB2M9-00; Missouri Department of Natural Resources
PW ID# 605; Debris Removal from Locust Creek
Citation: FEMA-1934-DR-FL, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Debris Removal from Locust Creek, Project Worksheet (PW) 605
Reference: Other Federal Agency (OFA), Debris Removal
Summary: As a result of tornadoes, severe storms, and flooding between June 12, 2010, and
July 31, 2010, debris logjams formed in Locust Creek. FEMA prepared PW 605 in the amount of $392,592 for the removal of 39,259 cubic yards of vegetative debris from the creek. On November 19, 2010, FEMA denied funding because funding for debris removal from a natural stream is within the authority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). FEMA directed the Applicant to contact the NRCS for funding under the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP). The NRCS affirmed the Applicant’s EWP eligibility; however, no funds were available in 2010 for projects due to flooding. The NRCS also stated that EWP funds are only available for projects that would avoid loss of life, and that the logjams did not meet that criterion.
The Applicant submitted a first appeal on January 25, 2011, requesting Public Assistance funding for debris removal due to the lack of EWP funding. The Applicant also consulted with Missouri State Parks Northern Parks District (Parks District) to determine whether the logjams presented a public safety issue. The Parks District advised the Applicant that “the location of the logjams in Locust Creek posed no direct threat to loss of life or property.” On September 29, 2011, the Regional Administrator denied the Applicant’s appeal pursuant to FEMA Recovery Policy RP9523.5, Debris Removal from Waterways, Section VII.D.1, because the removal of debris by an applicant for which another Federal agency has specific authority is ineligible under the Public Assistance Program.
In its December 1, 2011, second appeal, the Applicant states that it did not apply for EWP funding because it believed constraints imposed by EWP guidelines would cause damage to the wetlands. The Applicant also states that the PW 605 Special Considerations worksheet prepared by FEMA contained multiple errors.
Issues: 1. Does the NRCS have the authority to remove debris from natural streams?
2. Did the Applicant prove that the logjams presented an immediate threat to life, public safety, and to improved property?
3. Did the errors on PW 605 Special Consideration worksheet impact FEMA’s first appeal decision?
Findings: 1. Yes. The work the Applicant is requesting falls under the specific authority of NRCS.
Rationale: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as Amended, Section 403(a)(3), Essential Assistance and Section 312 Duplication of Benefits; 44 CFR §206.224(a), Debris removal, Public interest; 44 CFR § 206.221(a)(d)), Definitions, Improved property; FEMA Recovery Policy RP9524.3, Debris Removal from Waterways