Citation: FEMA-4019-DR-NC, Dare County, Debris Removal from Private Roads, Project Worksheet (PW) 1938.
Cross-Reference: Legal Responsibility, Debris on Private Roads
Summary: In August 2011, Hurricane Irene made landfall along the North Carolina coast causing significant wind damage and local flooding. In general, FEMA approved reimbursement for costs associated with debris removal from non-state system roads classified as Public Vehicular Area (PVA) roads that “are not gated or have restricted access by guards or other means of limiting public access.” Dare County (Applicant) hired a contractor to remove debris from the roads within two private, gated communities, Martin’s Point and Colington Harbor, and requested FEMA fund $275,477 for the costs of debris removal and disposal. FEMA prepared PW 1938 to document the debris removal and disposal, but upon review determined the work was ineligible, because the debris was removed from a gated community with limited public access.
In its first appeal, the Applicant asserted that there is no basis within Disaster Assistance Policy DAP9523.13 Debris Removal from Private Property for the denial of debris removal from private roads based on gates or restricted access. The Applicant stated that the roads within the communities are PVA roads and property owners are taxed at the same rates for sanitation services as all other property owners in unincorporated areas of Dare County. Further, the Applicant claimed that North Carolina General Statute §153A-292, which authorizes county commissioners to establish and operate solid waste collection and disposal services outside the corporate limits of a city, establishes the Applicant’s legal responsibility for the debris removal from the two communities. The FEMA Regional Administrator denied the Applicant’s first appeal stating that the Applicant did not demonstrate its legal responsibility for removing the debris from the two communities. The Applicant submitted its second appeal stating that the removal and disposal of the debris from the two communities was in the best interest of the public, because it was necessary to eliminate the immediate threats to life, public health and safety and to ensure the expedient economic recovery of the affected community. Additionally, the Applicant noted that it levies and collects a uniform sanitation collection and disposal tax on the at-large community, and does not limit the amount of refuse, including disaster-generated debris, collected from the curbside.
Issue: Has the Applicant demonstrated that it has the legal responsibility to remove debris from the two gated communities?
Rationale: 44 CFR §206.223(a)(3) General work eligibility, Disaster Assistance Program DAP9523.13, Debris Removal from Private Property.