During the incident period of April 28 to May 6, 2014, Escambia County, Florida (Applicant) suffered damages due to heavy rain fall and high velocity flooding. FEMA awarded Project Worksheet (PW) 926 on September 30, 2015 to replace a concrete ditch, box culverts, a concrete culvert apron, a residential fence and embankment, guardrail and shoulder areas, and a box culvert bridge at a cost of $841,642.31. On October 24, 2017, the Grantee forwarded a request for a change in the scope of work (SOW) to include additional costs for (1) constructing an extra box culvert bridge at an estimated cost of $86,377.70, and (2) damage to a pond site at an estimated cost of $298,766.88. The Applicant also proposed hazard mitigation associated with the pond site at an estimated cost of $155,150.00. FEMA denied the SOW change request in a Determination Memo, and again on first appeal, because the Applicant did not identify the damage within the 60-day timeframe to identify and report damage. On second appeal, the Applicant states that it discovered the damage in March 2016 prior to completing the work and argues that FEMA policy allows revisions both for changes related to originally identified damage as well as additional hidden damage discovered during the course of completing approved work.
Authorities and Second Appeals
- 44 C.F.R. §§ 13.30(c)(1)(i), (c)(2), (d)(1)(ii); 206.202(d)(1).
- PA Guide, at 96, 139-140.
- Los Angeles Dep’t of Water and Power, FEMA-1577-DR-CA, at 2.
- Essex Cty., FEMA-4020-DR-NY, at 5-6.
- Tennessee Dept. of Finance and Administration, FEMA-1745-DR-TN, at 7.
- Federal regulations require a Public Assistance applicant to identify and report all damage and submit all costs for disaster-related funding within 60 days from the first substantive meeting, usually the kick-off meeting.
- The Applicant did not report the damage to the pond site within the 60-day timeframe to identify and report damage.
- An applicant must obtain FEMA’s prior approval whenever it is anticipated that additional funding or any revision of the scope of the project will be required.
- The Applicant did not obtain prior approval for the work to construct an additional box culvert bridge.
The Applicant did not report the damage to the pond site within the 60-day timeframe to identify and report damage, nor did it request a time extension to allow more time. Additionally, the Applicant did not obtain prior approval for the work to construct an additional box culvert bridge. Accordingly, all costs associated with the SOW change request are ineligible and this appeal is denied.