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Santa Clara River Groins

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter

Appeal Brief

DisasterFEMA-1577-DR
ApplicantVentura County Watershed Protection District
Appeal TypeSecond
PA ID#111-UL4GF-00
PW ID#Project Worksheet 2727
Date Signed2008-10-14T04:00:00
Citation: FEMA-1577-DR-CA, Ventura County Watershed Protection Dis-

Summary: As a result of the January 2005 Winter Storms, the Ventura County Watershed Protection District (Applicant) requested funding for permanent repairs for seven rip rap groins, scoured levee embankment, and three storm water drains. FEMA and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) determined that the facility met the definition of a flood control work (FCW). Therefore, FEMA obligated PW 2727 for zero dollars ($0).
The Applicant filed its first appeal on December 5, 2005, stating that the costs were eligible because the facility was not active in the USACE Rehabilitation and Inspection Program (RIP) and was not under the specific authority of the USACE. The Applicant stated that because it had sole responsibility for maintenance, FEMA should reimburse it for the permanent work repairs under the FEMA Public Assistance Program. On December 8, 2006, FEMA denied the Applicant’s first appeal because the facility met the definition of an FCW. In accordance with FEMA Response and Recovery Policy 9524.3, Policy for Rehabilitation Assistance for Levees and Other Flood Control Works, disaster assistance authority for permanent work on FCWs resides with another federal agency.

On March 8, 2007, the Applicant filed a second appeal reiterating the arguments it made in the first appeal. Alternatively, the Applicant requested a one-time assistance for $10,294,731 to fund emergency repairs. In accordance with Response and Recovery Policy 9524.3, Policy for Rehabilitation Assistance for Levees and Other Flood Control Works, FEMA will only authorize emergency repairs to protect against immediate threats to life, health and safety, or improved property from a five-year flood event. Work that provides a greater level of protection is not eligible. The documentation did not support funding emergency repairs.

Issues: 1. Are the permanent repairs to a facility that meets USACE definition of an FCW eligible under the Public Assistance Program?

2. Should FEMA provide one-time assistance for emergency repairs in this case?

Findings: 1. No.

2. No. The Applicant did not provide documentation to support emergency work.

Appeal Letter

October 14, 2008

Frank McCarton
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Response and Recovery Division
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, CA 95655

Re: Second Appeal--Ventura County Watershed Protection District, PA ID 111-UL4GF-00,
Santa Clara River Groins, FEMA-1577-DR-CA Project Worksheet 2727

Dear Mr. McCarton:

This letter is in response to a letter from your office dated May 10, 2007, which transmitted the referenced second appeal of the Ventura County Watershed Protection District (Applicant) on the Santa Clara River Groins Project. The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of funding for the permanent repair of the facility.

The storms and heavy rains of December 27, 2004, through January 11, 2005, produced high flows into the Santa Clara River downstream from Highway 101. This resulted in the destruction of seven 120-foot long by 25-foot wide riprap groins, scouring of 2,500 feet of embankment, and damage to three storm water drains and outlet flap gates. The Applicant requested $10,294,731 for permanent repair of the riprap groins, levee embankment, and storm water drains. USACE inspected the facility and determined that it met the definition of a Flood Control Work (FCW). FEMA denied the appeal on that basis because the facility was the responsibility of another Federal Agency.

The Applicant submitted its first appeal to the State on December 5, 2005. The Applicant claimed that the costs were eligible as the facility was not active in the USACE Rehabilitation and Inspection Program (RIP), and was not under the specific authority of the USACE. Furthermore, the Applicant stated that the facility was for erosion control, not flood control, and should not be considered an FCW. The Applicant also asserted that because it had sole responsibility for maintenance, FEMA should reimburse it for the permanent work repairs eligible under the Public Assistance Program.

The Deputy Regional Director denied the appeal on December 8, 2006, because the facility met the definition of an FCW. In accordance with FEMA Response and Recovery Policy 9524.3, Policy for Rehabilitation Assistance for Levees and Other Flood Control Works, disaster assistance authority for permanent work resides with another federal agency.

In the second appeal, the Applicant reiterated its position that the facility is not an FCW, but is a riprap erosion control structure. Alternatively, if the permanent work is not eligible, the Applicant requests a one-time funding reimbursement for emergency repair under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act for $10,294,731. In accordance with Response and Recovery Policy 9524.3, Policy for Rehabilitation Assistance for Levees and Other Control Works, FEMA will only authorize emergency repairs to protect against immediate threats to life, health and safety, or improved property from a five-year flood event. Work that provides a greater level of protection is not eligible. The documentation did not support funding emergency repairs.

We have reviewed all information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Deputy Regional Director’s decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance Program regulations and policies and that the requested emergency work is ineligible. Therefore, the appeal is denied.

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

Sincerely,

/s/

Carlos J. Castillo
Assistant Administrator
Disaster Assistance Directorate

cc: Nancy Ward
Regional Administrator
FEMA Region IX
Last updated February 4, 2020