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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 189-UZX01-00; Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District
PW ID# PW 977; Direct Result of Disaster, Support Documentation
From April 28 to May 11, 2017 flooding impacted the Fenton Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned and operated by the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (Applicant). Floodwaters damaged a 65-foot long inclined bar fine screen system and a section of chain link fence. FEMA developed Project Worksheet (PW) 977 to document permanent work to repair the fine screen, but determined the Applicant had not demonstrated the damages were a direct result of the disaster instead of deferred maintenance. The Applicant appealed, asserting pre-existing damage was limited to a single filter panel on the screen, the screen was functioning as intended prior to the disaster, and the disaster had damaged many of the remaining panels and operating components. The Applicant requested $233,962.50 in Public Assistance (PA) funding to rebuild the screen, repair the chain link fence, and reimburse Direct Administrative Costs (DAC). The FEMA Region VII Regional Administrator (RA) denied the appeal, finding pre-existing damage likely enabled further damage to the fine screen system during the incident period. The RA found the remaining costs to repair the fence and reimburse DAC did not meet the minimum cost threshold for project eligibility. On second appeal, the Applicant acknowledges pre-existing damage to the single filter panel, but asserts the fine screen system was well maintained, inspected, and was operational prior to the disaster.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- Stafford Act § 406(a).
- 44 C.F.R. § 206.223(a)(1).
- PAPPG, at 20, 135-136.
- Vil. of Waterford, FEMA-4020-DR-NY, at 2-3.
- To be eligible for PA funding, an item of work must be required as a direct result of the disaster. Damage that results from a cause other than the designated event, such as deterioration or deferred maintenance, is not eligible. An applicant must demonstrate that the damage claimed was caused directly by the disaster.
- The Applicant’s maintenance record does not contain information describing the condition of specific components, and thus it does not demonstrate predisaster conditions.
- Other documentation provided (principally, the manufacturer’s estimate to rebuild the screen, and post-disaster photographs) does not contain information demonstrating the cause of damages in the fine screen.
The Applicant has not provided documentation demonstrating that damages to its fine screen system were caused by the declared flooding event. The appeal is denied.