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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 045-78200-00; City of Waveland
PW ID# 6720; Debris Removal
SECOND APPEAL BRIEF
City of Waveland, PA ID 045-78200-00
Debris Removal, Project Worksheet 6720
Citation: FEMA-1604-DR-MS, City of Waveland, Project Worksheet (PW) 6720
Reference: Debris Removal, Duplication of Benefits, Reasonable Cost
Summary: Following Hurricane Katrina, the Applicant entered into a contract with Taking Care of Business, Inc., (TCB) for debris removal on September 11, 2005, at the rate of $18.25 per cubic yard (CY). This included a tipping fee of $3.00 per CY. The Applicant and TCB subsequently signed an addendum to this contract that addressed the collection, hauling, and disposal of debris from demolished structures, including potentially asbestos-containing material. The addendum contains no provision stating that the Applicant would pay the contractor for actual demolition of the structures. The addendum states that the Applicant would pay all disposal fees directly to two landfills that were eligible to receive such material at a rate of $9.90 and $10.00 per CY respectively. At closeout, the Applicant requested reimbursement of $490,968. However, FEMA prepared PW 6720 for $379,784 for two reasons: FEMA determined that $15 per CY was more reasonable; and that since the Applicant had agreed to pay all tipping fees directly to the landfill, reimbursement of the $3.00 tipping fee for the contractor’s costs would represent a duplication of benefits.
In its first appeal, dated July 2, 2008, the Applicant argued that $18.25 per CY was reasonable and further, that the Applicant was contractually obligated to pay its contractor this amount. FEMA denied the first appeal on February 24, 2009, stating that the Applicant had failed to provide sufficient justification for either reimbursement of costs at $18.25 per CY or for reimbursing the Applicant twice for disposal of the same debris. It its second appeal, dated April 28, 2009, the Applicant reiterates its original request and argument. The Applicant additionally argues that the contractor undertook demolition of the structures in addition to the collection and hauling of the debris from the demolished structures, and that the contractor’s additional costs from demolition more than offset FEMA’s potential savings from deduction of the $3.00 per CY tipping fee that was included in the contractor costs. The Applicant argues that this amount should not be deducted because the hazardous debris was more labor-intensive to collect and haul than the original debris, and that greater distances were involved in transportation.
Issues: Does the Stafford Act prevent FEMA from reimbursing an applicant more than once for disposal costs for the same scope of work?
Rationale: Section 312 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Duplication of Benefits.