As a result of Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, the West Calcasieu Port Commission (Applicant) requested assistance for certain work and costs associated with the removal and disposal of disaster-related sediment and debris from the East Barge Basin (EBB) and West Barge Basin (WBB). The Applicant received a $1.5 million Port Priority Fund grant from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) for the same project. For Hurricane Rita-related sediment, FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 4026 for $364,900.00 to restore the EBB and WBB. The sediment was dredged from the basins’ water bottom and placed in the Applicant’s on-site soil disposal area (SDA). To accommodate the amount of sediment disposed, the PW included funding to increase the height of the SDA containment levees. For Hurricane Ike-related sediment, FEMA prepared PW 616 for $294,460.50 to remove and dispose of 26,000 cubic yards (CY) of sediment from the WBB into the SDA. Again, the approved amount included costs to increase the height of the levees to accommodate the sediment. To prevent a duplication of benefits, FEMA also made reductions to PW 616 in the amount of $215,053.76 for the DOTD grant. On December 12, 2014, the Applicant requested an amendment to PW 616 for an additional $359,467.17 ($78,539.05 for Hurricane Ike and $280,928.12 for Hurricane Rita) in costs to restore the airspace in its SDA lost after the disposal. FEMA denied the Applicant’s first appeal, finding that the additional work was beyond the scope of work required by the disasters. On second appeal, the Applicant maintains the airspace in its SDA has yet to be restored and that FEMA’s reductions for the DOTD grant were erroneous.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Certain improved and maintained natural features may be considered a facility eligible for assistance under the Public Assistance program, but an applicant must demonstrate that the feature was maintained on a regular schedule.
- The Applicant’s SDA was adapted as a dumping ground for dredged material and waste from the barge basin. The Applicant has not demonstrated that it is an actively maintained facility.
- Federal regulations provide that for work to be eligible, it must be required as the result of a declared disaster.
- The work and costs requested by the Applicant were the result of a 2012 project and were not incurred as a direct result of the disaster.
- No person, business concern, or other entity will receive assistance with respect to any part of such loss as to which he has received financial assistance under any other program or from insurance or any other source.
The Applicant has not demonstrated the SDA was an eligible facility or that the requested costs were incurred as a direct result of the disaster. Additionally, FEMA finds that the DOTD grant reduction in the amount of $215,053.76 was reasonable and appropriate.