Appeal Summary | Appeal Letter | Appeal Analysis | Back
Third Appeal Summary
PA ID# 087-91007; Santa Cruz Flood Control and Water Conservation District
DSR ID# 15298,75169,75170; Pajaro River
PURPOSE: Respond to third appeal of the Santa Cruz Flood Control and Water Conservation District for vegetation, debris and sediment removal, and bench restoration on the Pajaro River.
DISCUSSION: The winter storms of 1995 breached levees along the Pajaro River in part because existing vegetation, debris and sediments restricted flow. The floodwaters deposited additional debris and sediments. DSRs were written for $398,285 to remove vegetation and debris, $2,143,798 to remove sediment, and $105,581 to restore the rutted bench. FEMA determined that removing pre-existing vegetation was ineligible. Sediment removal and bench restoration were ineligible for hazard mitigation funding because there was no eligible permanent restoration. The first appeal requested that the removal work be reconsidered as emergency work. Bench restoration was eligible as incidental damage. FEMA determined that the removal actions were ineligible because disaster-related quantities could not be assessed. Bench restoration was ineligible because the damage was the result of ineligible work. The second appeal stated that the presence of pre-existing vegetation and debris is not relevant to the current need for emergency protective measures. A consultant's study indicated that the disaster deposited two-thirds of the sediment removed so their claim decreased to $1,429,199. FEMA determined that an immediate threat was not demonstrated, and that the protection of agricultural property is ineligible. Lacking an immediate threat, removal of debris and sediments is ineligible because the Pajaro River channel is not improved and maintained. The third appeal provides further statements to support that a threat was present, and provides documentation to support that the channel is an engineered facility. As an engineered channel, it is found that debris and sediment removal activities to restore the channel and its banks to pre-disaster condition are eligible as Category D. However, removal of vegetation, debris and sediments which were present prior to the disaster are not eligible for assistance. A Category D DSR should be prepared to fund the quantities of debris and sediment reasonably estimated to be attributed to the disaster, as described in the enclosed analysis.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Sign the letter partially granting this appeal.