PA ID# 037-70000; City of Santa Monica
DSR ID# 99761; Increased Operating Cost - Debris Removal
PURPOSE: To obtain signatures on the letter to the California Governor's Authorized Representative denying the third appeal from the City of Santa Monica.
DISCUSSION: The City applied for reimbursement of costs it incurred in collecting and transporting extra debris to the landfill over the period Jan-May 1994, following the Northridge Earthquake. It claimed that the extra debris was disaster-related and that its removal was in the public interest, and the costs incurred were, therefore, reimbursable. FEMA wrote DSR 99761 for $190,000 for the work but declared the work ineligible because the City had not demonstrated that it incurred an operating loss. The City appealed and the DRM denied the first appeal stating that the cost of solid waste collection was not authorized by the Stafford Act. A second appeal was submitted in which it stated that profit/loss statements were not done for the operation and that the City could not provide such information. The Executive Associate Director denied this appeal citing the fact that the documentation did not indicate that the debris collection met the criteria stated in 44 CFR 206.224(a). The City submitted a third appeal in which it insisted that the extra debris was removed to reduce immediate threats to public health and safety. FEMA reviewed the data presented. Based on the average debris collected over the preceding three years, the collections for the years 1991 to 1994 were +3%, +1%, -4% and +6%, respectively. The +6% deviation was not excessive. The applicant did not at any time attempt to present profit/loss data to support the claim. The data did not show what was collected from public property versus private property and what of the private component may have been associated with reconstruction activities. Therefore, the appeal is denied.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Sign the letter denying the applicant's third appeal.