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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 000-UTFMG-00,; Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration
PW ID# 1557; Legal Responsibility – Other Federal Agency – Duplication of Benefits
Conclusion: Funding is precluded because another Federal program is specifically designated to address the maintenance and restoration of the CRMS sites and there is a duplication of benefits. The Applicant also failed to provide documentation, such as predisaster maintenance or inspection reports, demonstrating that the damage sustained by the CRMS sites was a result of the declared disaster.
Severe storm surge from Hurricane Isaac during the incident period August 26 to September 10, 2012 damaged 119 Coastal Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) sites. FEMA prepared Project Worksheet 1557 to document the work, finding it ineligible due to a lack of a regular maintenance plan and the work being the responsibility of another federal agency. FEMA wrote PW 1557 for zero dollars. On first appeal, the Applicant argued that: (1) the work is eligible because there is no specific authority under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act of 1990 (CWPPRA) to repair the damages in question; (2) FEMA’s denial of eligibility because of the legal authority of another federal agency is contrary to Section 312 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) and FEMA’s regulations and policies; and (3) its consulting services contract provides for regular maintenance of the CRMS sites. The FEMA Region VI Regional Administrator denied the first appeal finding that: (1) the CRMS was federally funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) under the CWPPRA and remains under USGS authority for the life of the project and (2) the Applicant’s consulting services contract does not demonstrate maintenance of the CRMS sites. On second appeal, the Applicant argues that: (1) FEMA’s denial is erroneous because there is no other federal agency responsible for funding these disaster-related repairs and though USGS funded the repairs for the CRMS sites on a discretionary basis, it did so with the understanding that the operation and maintenance budget would be reimbursed by FEMA and (2) its consulting services contract provides for regular maintenance.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Stafford Act § 312(a).
- 16 U.S.C. §§ 3951-3956.
- 44 C.F.R. §§ 206.223(a)(1), 206.226(a).
- PA Guide, at 29, 33, 41.
- FEMA Second Appeal Analysis, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, FEMA-1792-DR-LA, PW 1545 (Nov. 26, 2012).
- FEMA Second Appeal Analysis, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, FEMA-1607-DR-LA, PW 4576, at 2 (Mar. 12, 2012)
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.226(a) limits PA funding where there is another Federal authority to restore facilities.
- CWPPRA creates an ongoing Federal program to specifically address restoration of the barrier islands and wetlands.
- Stafford Act § 312 specifically prohibits applicants from receiving duplicate financial assistance.
- The cooperative agreement between the Applicant and USGS creates a duplication of benefits.
- The PA Guide, at 33, maintains that for facilities that require routine maintenance to maintain their designated function, FEMA may review the predisaster maintenance or inspection reports to verify the predisaster condition and assess eligible disaster damage.
- The Applicant has not provided predisaster maintenance or inspection reports to document routine maintenance of the CRMS sites.