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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 075-99075-00; Plaquemines Parish
PW ID# 1645, 13495, and 13611; Debris Removal – Construction and Demolition
Conclusion: Funding for demolition of commercial property is not eligible because the applicant did not obtain written approval from FEMA as required by FEMA policy prior to the demolition.
Following Hurricane Katrina, FEMA obligated $23.5 million in three Project Worksheets (PWs) to fund debris removal and demolition of public and private properties throughout Plaquemines Parish. In response to an Office of Inspector General audit, FEMA deobligated a total of $440,824.55 from the three PWs for the demolition of 39 commercial properties found to be ineligible because the Applicant performed the work without FEMA approval. In the first appeals, the Applicant asserted that it requested and obtained prior approval for demolitions at the 39 commercial sites as demonstrated by the sites being recorded in FEMA’s private property debris removal (PPDR) property and debris matrix, a spreadsheet used to track debris removal activities within the parish. The Region VI Regional Administrator denied the first appeals citing the Applicant’s failure to request and obtain written Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) approval for the commercial demolition and debris removal activities as required by FEMA Recovery Policy RP9523.13 Debris Removal from Private Property (Oct. 23, 2005). In its second appeals, the Applicant reiterates its position from the first appels.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- RP9523.13, Debris Removal from Private Property, at 2-4 (Oct. 23, 2005).
- Recovery Policy RP9523.13 Debris Removal from Private Property (Oct. 23, 2005), Section 7.C. states that any State or local government that intends to remove debris from private property must, prior to commencement of work, submit a written request to the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) seeking approval for reimbursement. Section 7.H. states that work may commence after receiving written approval from the FCO.
- The Applicant did not receive written approval from the FCO.
- Section 7.D. of the policy details specific factors to be considered by the FCO in making an eligibility determination relative to removal of debris from private commercial property.
- The Applicant has provided no documentation to support that FEMA conducted the programmatic review required by Section 7.D.