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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 18-62192-00; Town of Vernon
PW ID# 337 and 537; Debris Reduction, Hauling, and Disposal - Federal-Aid Roads
Citation: FEMA-4046-DR-CT, Town of Vernon, Debris Reduction, Hauling, and Disposal – Federal-Aid Roads, Project Worksheets (PWs) 337 and 537
Cross-Reference: Other Federal Agency; Debris Removal
Summary: As a result of heavy snow and high winds generated from Severe Storm Alfred tree limbs and branches broke throughout the Town of Vernon. The Town of Vernon (Applicant) utilized contract services to clear storm debris from rights of way, town parks, and public properties. Debris removal work included grinding debris at the Temporary Debris Storage and Reduction Site (TDSRS) and hauling it to another location for final disposal. FEMA prepared PWs 337 and 537 based on contractors’ invoices submitted by the Applicant totaling $143,633 and $2,939,555, respectively, for debris removal, hauling, grinding, and final disposal services. FEMA determined that the grinding, hauling and disposal of debris removed from federal-aid roads was included in both PW’s scope of work. Because the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) had activated its Emergency Relief (ER) Program for this disaster, FEMA reduced funding approved in each PW by the cost to grind, haul, and dispose of the debris removed from federal-aid roads, $7,419 and $14,938, respectively. The Applicant submitted a first appeal requesting reimbursement of the denied debris removal costs. The Applicant stated that that it did not receive ER Program funding for the cost of grinding, final hauling and disposal of first pass debris cleared from federal-aid roads. The Acting Regional Administrator denied the first appeal explaining that FEMA does not provide Public Assistance for “first pass” debris removal from federal-aid roads in an area when the FHWA has activated its ER Program. The Acting Regional Administrator also explained that once the debris was removed to the staging area, the debris no longer presented an immediate threat to life, public health, and safety. The Grantee submitted a second appeal on behalf of the Applicant reiterating the Applicant’s first appeal position that the cost of grinding, final hauling and disposal of first pass debris was not covered under the FHWA ER Program, and that because these costs were not funded by another federal agency, there was no duplication of benefits
Issues: 1. Did the Applicant receive ER Program funding for grinding, final hauling and disposal costs related to first pass debris removal?
2. Did the disposal of the debris at the TDSRS eliminate the immediate threat posed by the debris?
Findings: 1. No. Debris disposal costs (grinding, final hauling and disposal) are ineligible for ER Program funding.
2. No. The immediate threat posed by the debris was not eliminated until final disposal.
Rationale: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) Section 407(a)(2) Debris Removal