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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 037-70000; City of Santa Monica
DSR ID# 99761; Increased Operating Cost - Debris Removal
Citation: FEMA-1008-DR-CA; DSR 99761; PA ID 037-70000; City of Santa Monica (City), Reimbursement for increase in municipal solid waste generation.
Cross Reference: Northridge Earthquake; increased operating costs; Category F - Utility.
Summary: Following the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, the City applied for disaster assistance to cover the costs of collection and disposal of an increase in the City's solid waste. DSR 99761, prepared for $190,000, was found ineligible due to lack of documentation establishing the excess waste as disaster debris. The City appealed the DSR, stating that such documentation was unreasonable and unavailable. The Regional Director denied the appeal because the cost of solid waste collection is not authorized by the Stafford Act (P.L.93-288 as amended), unless the disaster-related waste presents an immediate threat to life, public health and safety. In the second appeal, the City maintains that the collection of excess waste constitutes debris removal and is eligible pursuant to 44CFR206.224.
Issue: Is the City eligible to receive the $190,000 for increased operating costs? Did the increased volume of solid waste pose a health and safety threat to the public?
Findings: No. It is FEMA policy that loss of revenue or increased costs associated with providing utility services is not eligible for reimbursement. Furthermore, the debris did not pose a health and safety threat to the public as required by 44CFR206.224.
Rationale: This policy regarding the eligibility of excess utility costs was established in 44CFR205.76 (18). The applicant did not provide evidence to demonstrate that the debris posed a health and safety threat to the public.