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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 013-91048; Contra Costa Transportation Authority
DSR ID# 28472,28473,28474,28478; Landslide on State Route 4 (Willow Pass Project)
Citation: FEMA-1044-DR-CA; Contra Costa Transportation Authority
Cross-Reference: Other Federal Agency; Debris Removal; Pre-Disaster Condition; Legal Responsibility
Summary: Work on the Contra Costa Transportation Authority's (CCTA) Willow Pass Project began several years ago and included extension of rail transit, widening of State Route 4, and construction of an access road and bike trail. On September 15, 1994, a landslide occurred at the project site. Repair and stabilization of the slope began immediately. Ground moisture conditions associated with the winter storms of January 1995 (1044-DR-CA) caused further landslide activity resulting in failure of a portion of the September 1994 landslide repair, damaging the bicycle trail grade, and depositing debris throughout the area. During DSR preparation, FEMA determined that work to repair the damage was not eligible for funding because all of the damage occurred in the right-of-way of a Federal Aid System highway. A detailed description of damage and an associated cost estimate were not prepared. The California Office of Emergency Services transmitted the first appeal on March 20, 1996. FEMA denied the appeal in accordance with Section 312 of the Stafford Act and implementing regulation 44 CFR 206.226 which prohibits disaster assistance for work that falls within the jurisdiction of another Federal agency. In the June 4, 1996, denial letter, FEMA also outlined several other restrictions that prohibit funding of the CCTA repair including the nature of debris removal, the pre-disaster condition of the hillside, and the legal responsibility of CCTA in making repairs. A second appeal has now been submitted. CCTA continues to claim that FHWA does not have jurisdiction over the site and has submitted documentation and commentary to support the claim and refute the other items outlined in FEMA's first appeal denial.
- Can FEMA fund repair since FHWA denied funding?
- Is debris removal eligible?
- Is the damage disaster related?
- Is the site the legal responsibility of the applicant?
- No. Permanent repair of State Route 4 and its appurtenances is not eligible.
- No. An immediate threat has not been supported.
- No. Damage is the result of pre-existing geologic weaknesses and lack of construction monitoring and protection.
- No. The site is the legal responsibility of the California State Department of Transportation and the contractor.
Rationale: Sections 102, 312, 406, and 407 of the Stafford Act and implementing regulations 44 CFR 206.223(a)(1) and (a)(3), 206.224(a)(1), and 206.226.