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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 013-07850-00; City of Boulder
PW ID# 866; Debris Removal - Waterways, Immediate Threat
Conclusion: The City of Boulder (Applicant) did not sufficiently demonstrate that the debris at the two sites along Fourmile Canyon Creek posed an immediate threat in order to be eligible for debris removal.
In September 2013, the Applicant experienced severe storms and flooding, which deposited vegetative and sedimentary debris along multiple creeks, gulches, and drainage ways throughout the city. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 866 to document the Applicant’s request to remove debris that posed an immediate threat to lives, public health and safety or improved public or private property. FEMA determined two points located along Fourmile Canyon Creek, Site 14-Point 1B and Point 3 (Points 1B and 3), were ineligible for Public Assistance (PA) because the debris at those sites did not pose an immediate threat. The Applicant appealed FEMA’s determination, arguing that Points 1B and 3 were located within the floodplain, were part of a planned and maintained designated floodway, and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) urged it to maintain the floodway through a local ordinance, which necessitated the debris removal. The Region VIII Regional Administrator (RA) denied the appeal, finding that the Applicant failed to demonstrate that the debris caused an immediate threat. The Applicant appeals the RA’s decision and contends that Points 1B and 3 are part of Fourmile Canyon Creek, which is an engineered floodway, and the debris removal was necessary to eliminate an immediate threat to life, public health, and safety pursuant to FEMA’s regulations. The Applicant also claims that Points 1B and 3 should be considered improved natural features and that it needed to comply with its local ordinance pursuant to the NFIP to maintain them.
Authorities and Second Appeals
Stafford Act §§ 403, 406, 407.
44 C.F.R. §§ 206.201, 206.221, 206.224(a)(1)-(4), 206.226.
PA Guide, at 22, 66, 82.
- < > 9523.5, at 8.
City of Wilkes-Barre, PW 119, FEMA-1684-DR-PA, at 2.
Stafford Act § 403, as implemented by 44 § C.F.R. 206.224, and supported by RP 9523.5, Debris Removal from Waterways authorizes FEMA to provide assistance to address immediate threats to life and property resulting from a major disaster. It only will do so when the threat of additional damage or destruction from an event can reasonably be expected to occur within five years.
FEMA may reimburse eligible applicants for emergency debris removal from public and private lands and waters when removal is in the public interest.
Stafford Act § § 206.226
The Applicant did not demonstrate that Points 1B and 3 are improved and maintained, in order to be eligible facilities.