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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 97-37592-00; City of Joplin
PW ID# (PW) 1016 ; Direct Result of Disaster – Support Documentation
On May 22, 2011, the City of Joplin (Applicant) was stuck by an E-5 tornado, which caused extensive damage to the community and throughout the state of Missouri. To address the damage FEMA prepared Project Worksheets (PWs) 1018, 1521, and 1016 to inspect and repair the Applicant’s sewer lines. The scope of work (SOW) for PW 1016 included identifying damages, locating debris, and locating affected lateral lines through the use of CCTV. In response to the Applicant’s close out request for PW 1016, FEMA issued a determination memo (DM) stating that the Applicant’s use of CCTV was not an eligible cost. The DM stated that FEMA previously issued a first appeal decision on PW 1521 denying all costs for permanent work repairs on the sewer mains because the Applicant had not demonstrated that the damage was a direct result of the disaster. As a result of the PW 1521 decision, the PW 1016 DM claimed that the work under PW 1016 could not be tied to disaster related damages as required by FEMA regulation and policy and was therefore ineligible. The Applicant appealed stating that the use of CCTV was the most efficient and cost effective manner of identifying any uncapped lateral lines and damage to the sewer mains. The Regional Administrator (RA) partially granted the appeal. The RA granted $1,250.00 in costs for the CCTV identification of five uncapped lateral lines noting that this work was eligible because it could be directly tied to the eligible work under PW 1018. The RA denied the rest of the costs because the Applicant did not demonstrate that the use of CCTV for the sewer mains or the use of the GARMIN cameras was directly tied to any eligible work. On second appeal, the Applicant reasserts its claim that CCTV was the most efficient and cost effective method to complete the work.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Public Assistance Guide, FEMA 322 at 40, 55-56 (June 2007).
- Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations (44 C.F.R.) §§ 206.206, 206.223 (2010).
- The Opportunity Center¸ FEMA-1539-DR-FL, at 6 (Dec. 22, 2016).
- Village of Waterford, FEMA-4020-DR-NY, at 4 (Sep. 4, 2014).
- City of Joplin, FEMA-1980-DR-MO (Mar. 26, 2018).
- City of Duquesne, FEMA-1980-DR-MO (May 1, 2017).
- The Public Assistance Guide allows FEMA to fund inspections when the structure is inaccessible to determine the extent of damage, however, FEMA can only reimburse costs for the portion of damage found.
- The Applicant demonstrated no disaster-related damage to the sewer mains through the use of CCTV and therefore, FEMA cannot fund the CCTV costs.
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.223 requires that for work to be eligible for Public Assistance funding, it must be disaster related.
- The Applicant did not identify disaster-related damage to the sewer mains through the use of CCTV.
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.206 requires applicants to provide documented justification to support the arguments made and instruction on how FEMA should interpret those documents.
- The Applicant did not provide documented justification to show that the use of CCTV in the sewer mains or the GARMIN cameras were associated with eligible work.
The Applicant’s use of CCTV to identify uncapped lateral lines is eligible because it is tied to eligible work under PW 1018. Because the other inspections cannot be tied to eligible work, the associated costs are not eligible for reimbursement. Therefore, the Applicant’s appeal is denied.