Citation: FEMA-1577-DR-CA, City of San Buenaventura, Time Extension Request, Project Worksheets (PWs) 897 and 906
Reference: Hazard Mitigation, BCA, Time Extension
Summary: Severe rainstorms in January 2005 damaged the Applicant’s water pipelines and wells along the Ventura River. FEMA approved PWs 897 and 906 for the repair of pipelines and relocation of a well for $420,804 and $303,609, respectively. FEMA also approved slope protection consisting of rock groins and riprap extending along the west and east banks of the river, estimated at $829,206 and $952,682, respectively. Due to significant changes in the proposed scope and cost of the mitigation measures, and in response to a time extension request, FEMA re-evaluated the feasibility and cost effectiveness of the hazard mitigation proposals (HMP). FEMA performed a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) on the revised scope and determined the HMPs were no longer cost effective. In addition, FEMA concluded that the necessary environmental reviews would not only be lengthy, but also, the necessary clearance would be potentially unattainable due to a related upstream project. The time extension was denied and the project made ineligible. The first appeal claimed $412,301 in actual project design and environmental costs, as well as $7 million in estimated costs to complete the design and construct the projects within twelve months of FEMA approval. In support, the Applicant cited risks to human health and environment without the project, environmental delays, and potential errors by FEMA in applying policy in the BCA. FEMA denied the appeal maintaining that the projects were not cost effective. The second appeal contends FEMA did not correctly apply the hazard mitigation policy as it relates to the BCA. Response and Recovery Policy 9526.1 Hazard Mitigation Funding under Section 406 (Stafford Act) dated August 13, 1998, in effect at the time of the disaster, did not include loss of function as an element in the BCA. The policy was correctly applied in the BCA performed by the Region, resulting in benefit-cost ratios of less than 1.0 for each HMP. Therefore, because the HMPs are not cost effective, they are not eligible for funding, and an additional time extension is not required.
Issues: 1) Are the hazard mitigation proposals cost effective in accordance with applicable policy?
2) Is a time extension required?
Finding: 1) No.
Rationale: Section 406 of the Stafford Act; 44 CFR §206.226(e); 44 CFR §206.204(d); Response and Recovery Policy 9526.1 Hazard Mitigation Funding under Section 406 (Stafford Act) dated August 13, 1998