Appeal Brief | Appeal Letter | Appeal Analysis | Back
Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 097-20512-00; City of Duquesne
PW ID# 989; Damage Surveys
Conclusion: The City of Duquesne’s (Applicant) use of closed-circuit television camera system (CCTV) to locate sewer lateral lines in order to cap them is eligible for reimbursement as an emergency protective measure.
On May 22, 2011, an EF-5 tornado struck the City of Duquesne. Afterwards, debris cleanup efforts unearthed and caused damage to sewer lateral lines that connect residential dwellings to the Applicant’s sewer main. The Applicant became concerned that debris could enter the sewer lateral lines and cause blockages in the sewer main causing effluent to overflow, resulting in health hazards throughout the community. The Applicant determined the damaged and exposed sewer lateral lines to be an immediate threat to public health and safety. FEMA prepared PW 989 for the use of CCTV in the sewer main to locate damage and debris within the sewer main and to locate the connection points (taps) between the damaged lateral lines and the sewer main. The Applicant completed the work and submitted actual closeout costs. FEMA determined that the use of CCTV did not result in the identification of damage or debris within the sewer main. However, it did reveal the locations of the taps between the damaged sewer lateral lines and the sewer main. Because the use of CCTV to inspect the sewer lines did not yield any damage nor debris, at closeout FEMA categorized the work as a general damage survey. Consequently, FEMA determined the work to be ineligible and deobligated PW 989. The Applicant appealed. The FEMA Regional Administrator (RA) denied the appeal for the same reasons determined at closeout. On the second appeal, the Applicant argues that the CCTV work was a targeted action to locate the taps between the sewer main and the sewer laterals and have them capped at the lowest possible cost. Since the work performed was in response to an immediate threat, it was not a general survey and should be eligible for PA funding.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Stafford Act § 403.
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.223(a)(1).
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.225(a)(3)(i)-(ii).
- Pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 206.223(a)(1), to be eligible for financial assistance, an item of work must be required as the result of a major disaster event.
- After an EF-5 tornado struck the City of Duquesne, the President declared a major disaster for the Applicant’s community. Afterwards, debris cleanup efforts unearthed and caused damage to sewer lateral lines that connect residential dwellings to the Applicant’s sewer main.
- Pursuant to 44 C.F.R. § 206.225(a)(3)(i)-(ii) emergency protective measures are eligible for funding if the measures eliminate or lessen immediate threats to life, public health or safety, or eliminate or lessen immediate threats of significant additional damage to improved public or private property through measures which are cost effective.
- The Applicant used CCTV as a cost-effective means to locate the taps between damaged and exposed sewer lateral lines and the Applicant’s sewer main. After locating these taps, the Applicant capped the lateral lines at its right-of-way, thus eliminating an immediate threat to public health and safety that would have resulted from a sewage backup in the Applicant’s sewer main. Capping the lateral lines also eliminated the immediate threat of significant additional damage to the sewer system.