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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 303-UT5LK-00; Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District (ISD)
PW ID# 89; Snow Removal, Emergency Protective Measures
Conclusion: The declaration for DR-4255-TX did not include snow removal assistance, and the Applicant was not able to establish that limited snow removal was necessary to perform otherwise eligible work. Therefore, the costs are not eligible under the Public Assistance program and the appeal is denied.
Severe winter storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding occurred throughout the State of Texas from December 26, 2015, until January 21, 2016. Major disaster DR-4255-TX was declared on February 9, 2016. FEMA prepared PW 89 to document $22,137.50 that Lubbock-Cooper Independent School District (Applicant) incurred for snow removal. Several contractors were utilized to remove snow from the city streets around the school campuses, parking lots, and entrances/exits to the buildings. FEMA notified the Grantee on July 28, 2016, that the cost was ineligible for Public Assistance funding because snow removal was not included in the declaration. On first appeal, the Applicant claimed snow removal was necessary to meet the fire code relative to the blocking of doors and to prevent the cancellation of classes. FEMA sent an RFI to the Applicant, asking that it demonstrate the snow removal supported an emergency protective measure. The Applicant replied that it had no additional information. FEMA denied the first appeal on April 3, 2017, determining that the costs were ineligible since the declaration of DR-4255-TX did not include snow assistance, and the Applicant did not provide documentation that identified activities and costs in support of FEMA-eligible emergency work. In the second appeal, the Applicant argues that the snow removal around the school should be considered an emergency protective measure since maintenance crews needed to access the building to determine if there was damage, neglecting to remove the snow would have created risk for injury, and many students did not have supervision at home if school did not begin on January 4, 2017, as scheduled.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- 44 C.F.R. §§ 206.36, 206.225, 206.227.
- PAPPG, at 77-78.
- FEMA Second Appeal Analysis, Town of Secaucus, FEMA-4264-DR-NJ (April 27, 2017).
- In accordance with 44 C.F.R. § 206.227 Snow Assistance, emergency or major disaster declarations based on snow or blizzard conditions will be made only for cases of record or near record snowstorms, as established by official government records.
- DR-4255-TX did not authorize snow assistance.
- The PAPPG states that for severe winter storm declaration that do not specifically authorize snow assistance, “FEMA only provides PA funding for limited snow-related activities that are necessary to preform otherwise eligible work. For example, snow removal necessary to repair downed power lines is eligible, while normal snow removal from roads is not eligible.”
- The Applicant did not establish that limited snow removal was necessary to perform otherwise eligible work.