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Mold Remediation

Appeal Brief

ApplicantJefferson Parish
Appeal Type2nd
PA ID#051-99051-00
PW ID#13 PWs
Date Signed

Citation:         FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Jefferson Parish, Mold Remediation and Stabilization, Project Worksheets (PWs) 12242, 12470, 12491, 12609, 12725, 12874, 13308, 13375, 12474, 12487, 12586, 12660, 13001



Reference:      Documentation, Reasonable Costs


Summary:      Following Hurricane Katrina, the Applicant entered into verbal sole-source,

non-competitive, time and materials contracts for mold remediation and stabilization of 13 libraries impacted by water damage.  The Applicant completed work prior to FEMA’s inspection of the sites and requested $4,535,411.  The Applicant did not submit detailed scopes of work and support documentation.  Therefore, FEMA inspected the facilities and developed a Scope of Work (SOW) for each, and determined that the reasonable cost for mold remediation and stabilization efforts for the 13 facilities was $1,011,247.


The Applicant submitted its first appeals on March 6, 2007.  FEMA requested from the Applicant documentation that described damages that the Applicant claimed FEMA overlooked during its site visits or did not include in the approved SOW, as well as detailed SOWs.  The Applicant supplied contractors’ time sheets and work task sheets, but no documents to support the extent of the work beyond hours logged.  The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal on July 13, 2007, because the Applicant did not provide documentation containing an adequate scope of work to justify the large quantity of work hours used to perform eligible work and because the Applicant did not submit documents to support its claim that the contractors’ costs and fees were reasonable.  The Applicant submitted its second appeal on October 10, 2007, and reiterated its original claim stated in its first appeal.  The second appeal includes new documentation not previously submitted.


Issue:              Did the Applicant provide sufficient documentation to support its claim for reimbursement of actual costs incurred?   


Finding:          Yes.


Rationale:       Office of Management and Budget Circular A-87; 44 CFR §13.36(b)(9) Procurement, Procurement standards; 44 CFR § 206.206(a), Appeals, Format and Content


Appeal Letter

September 27, 2010



Mark DeBosier

Deputy Director

Recovery Division

Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

7667 Independence Boulevard

Baton Rouge, LA 70806


Re:  Second Appeal–Jefferson Parish, PA ID 051-99051-00, Mold Remediation, FEMA-1603-DR-LA, Project Worksheet (PW) Multiple (13)


Dear Mr. DeBosier:


This is in response to a letter from your office dated November 5, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of Jefferson Parish (Applicant).  The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to limit Public Assistance funding for mold remediation and stabilization at parish libraries.  The Applicant seeks additional reimbursement totaling $3,324,499. 


Following Hurricane Katrina, the Applicant entered into verbal sole-source, non-competitive, time and materials contracts for mold remediation and stabilization of the following 13 facilities that were impacted by water damage:  


Lafitte Library (PW 12242)

Harahan Library (PW 13375)

Wagner Library (PW 12470)

Old Metairie Library (PW 12474)

Live Oak Library (PW 12491)

Westwego Library (PW 12487)

Grand Isle Library (PW 12609)

Terrytown Library (PW 12586)

Eastbank Regional Library (PW 12725)

Westbank Regional Library (PW 12660)

Belle Terre Library (PW 12874)

North Kenner Library (PW 13001)

Lakeshore Library (PW 13308)



The Applicant obtained mold remediation and prevention services for the libraries using a non-competitive process, completed the mold remediation and stabilization work prior to FEMA’s inspection of the sites, and requested reimbursement of $4,335,746.  Because the Applicant did not submit detailed Scopes of Work (SOW) and support documentation, FEMA inspected the libraries and developed a SOW for each library and determined that the reasonable cost for mold remediation and stabilization efforts for the 13 libraries was $1,011,247.  The Regional Administrator sustained this determination on the first appeal.

The Applicant submitted its second appeal on September 3, 2008, in which it addressed the ineligible determinations argued in the first appeal for each PW.  The Applicant challenged the method FEMA used to establish reasonable costs.  Specifically, it stated that R.S. Means is not an

appropriate tool for developing SOWs, and the use of historical rates for equipment and labor (including rates from Lake Charles) was inappropriate.  The Applicant submitted new documentation with its second appeal, which included vendor invoices, SOWs, and field activity notes.


Applicants who seek reimbursement under the Public Assistance Program must comply with the Federal procurement requirements contained in 44 CFR §13.36, Procurement.  In addition, applicants must describe in sufficient detail the SOW for which they seek reimbursement.  The Applicant did not comply with these requirements. 

In recognition of the fact that the Applicant performed eligible work on the libraries, FEMA inspected the libraries to determine a reasonable scope of work and level of effort to support funding of the projects.  FEMA used R.S. Means Building Construction Cost Data and R.S. Means Environmental Remediation Estimating Method to estimate the level of effort for various tasks involved in the mold remediation and stabilization efforts in Louisiana.  This is an appropriate use of the tool.  R.S. Means provides estimated costs to perform various tasks.  FEMA used this data as well as local historical cost data, local home building associations’ cost data, and local retail merchants prices to develop reasonable costs for the various tasks.  FEMA reviewed regional cost data from Lake Charles as part of its analysis, but did not explicitly use this data to determine final eligible costs.  Previous invoices and documentation submitted by the Applicant were not quantifiable or descriptive of the work performed. 

During the second appeal evaluation, FEMA reviewed new information provided by the Applicant including vendors’ invoices, SOWs and field activity notes to obtain a list of equipment and supplies the contractors used on the projects and the SOWs that the Applicant submitted to refine its estimates of reasonable costs.  FEMA used the same methodology in this analysis as it used to develop reasonable cost for the remediation of mold in the Applicant’s libraries and other governmental buildings consistent with mold remediation and stabilization efforts in Louisiana.  

Based on the review of the submitted information, FEMA has determined that approved funding for the projects should be increased to better reflect reasonable costs.  The enclosed table lists the additional eligible funding for each library.  FEMA previously approved additional costs totaling $672,065 for Wagner Library, Grand Isle Library, Eastbank Regional Library, and Belle Terre Library.  This second appeal determination approves an additional $8,115 for Wagner Library and $969,559 for the other nine libraries.  The total eligible cost for the 13 projects is $2,660,797.  The details of the approved additional costs will be described on new versions of each PW.


Based on a review of all documentation submitted with the second appeal, I have determined that the documentation the Applicant submitted with its second appeal is sufficient to document additional eligible work and costs for Public Assistance funding.  Therefore, I am partially approving this appeal for an additional $977,674 for mold remediation and stabilization work.  The Regional Administrator will take appropriate action to implement this determination.

Please inform the Applicant of my decision.  This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.



Deborah Ingram

Acting Assistant Administrator

Recovery Directorate


cc: Tony Russell

      Regional Administrator

      FEMA Region VI

Appeal Analysis

Last updated Feb 4, 2020

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