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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 185-78800-00; City of Valdosta
PW ID# 863; Withlacoochee Water Pollution Control Plant
Citation: FEMA-1833-DR-GA; City of Valdosta, Withlacoochee Pollution Control Plant, PW 863
Reference: Hazard Mitigation
Summary: The Withlacoochee Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) in the City of Valdosta (Applicant) sustained damage as a result of severe storms and flooding associated with FEMA-1833-DR-GA. FEMA prepared PW 863 for $527,184 to fund the repair of the facility. The Applicant requested approval of the relocation of the facility at an estimated cost of $94,325,027 as a hazard mitigation proposal (HMP). The FEMA Regional Administrator denied the Applicant’s request to relocate the WPCP, because the HMP to relocate the facility applied to undamaged elements of the facility and was not cost effective.
In its first appeal, the Applicant stated that the relocation of the WPCP should be funded by FEMA based on code and standard requirements set forth in the International Building Code (IBC) and because the other technically feasible hazard mitigation options are prohibited by the Lowndes County Unified Land Development Code (ULDC). The FEMA Regional Administrator denied the first appeal because the HMP applies predominantly to undamaged elements of the facility. Further, the facility did not sustain substantial damage nor require substantial improvement; therefore, the code requirements cited by the Applicant did not apply.
In its second appeal, the Applicant states that because the WPCP is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), the ULDC prohibits the reconstruction of the facility. According to the Applicant, the ULDC also prohibits new construction and substantial improvements to the facility, which precludes the Applicant from considering the other technically feasible mitigation options that FEMA proposed. The Applicant states that the ULDC “prohibits the major repairs needed for the plant to operate” within permit requirements. The Applicant concludes that the WPCP should be eligible for relocation because it is not repairable and relocation is a cost-effective option.
Issue: Is the relocation of the plant a cost-effective hazard mitigation measure addressing only the damaged portions of the facility?
Finding: No. The plant sustained minor damage and the Benefit-Cost Analysis resulted in a benefit to cost ratio of 0.04.
Rationale: Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9526.1, Hazard Mitigation Funding Under Section 406 (Stafford Act), dated July 30, 2007.