Seawall and Shoreline Erosion

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter

Appeal Brief

DisasterFEMA-1646-DR
ApplicantCalifornia State University
Appeal TypeSecond
PA ID#000-UZ5X6-00
PW ID#Project Workheet 763
Date Signed2008-04-09T04:00:00
Citation: California State University, San Francisco, FEMA-1646-DR-CA, Seawall and
Shoreline Erosion, Project Worksheet (PW) 763

Cross-reference: Pre-Disaster Condition, Emergency Protective Measures

Summary: As a result of heavy rains, high tides, high winds, and wave action that occurred between March 29, 2006, and April 16, 2006, the California State University, San Francisco (Applicant) requested FEMA assistance to repair a damaged concrete seawall and 753 feet of eroded shoreline. FEMA prepared PW 763 for $2,558,421. Based on a review of photographs taken of the site in 2002, FEMA Region IX denied Public Assistance funding because the damages were not the result of the disaster event. A site visit also showed pre-existing damages to the seawall and the shoreline. The site visit also revealed extensive erosion threatening Building 40 which FEMA decided may be eligible for emergency protective measures.

In its first appeal the Applicant argued that FEMA should consider the additional damages caused by the disaster. The Deputy Regional Administrator denied the Applicant’s first appeal based on pre-existing damages to the seawall and shoreline. The Deputy Regional Administrator requested that the Applicant provide a detailed, cost-effective scope of work and cost estimate to address the threat to Building 40.

On September 21, 2007, the Applicant filed a second appeal. The Applicant provided a geotechnical report and additional information requested by the Deputy Regional Administrator that included several repair options and cost estimates relating to the seawall and shoreline but contained no information or recommendations addressing the issue of stabilization of the embankment at Building 40.
Issue(s): 1. Were the damages to the seawall and shoreline the result of the disaster?

2. Did the Applicant provide a detailed, cost-effective scope of work and cost estimate to address the immediate threat to Building 40?

Finding(s): 1. No.

2. No.

Rationale: 44 Code of Federal Regulations §206.223(a)(1)
Second Appeal–California State University, San Francisco, FEMA-1646-DR-CA

Appeal Letter

April 9, 2008

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

Re: Second Appeal–California State University, San Francisco, PA ID 000-UZ5X6-00
Seawall and Shoreline Erosion, FEMA-1646-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 763

Dear Mr. Jacks:

This letter is in response to the referenced second appeal by the California State University, San Francisco (Applicant) dated September 21, 2007, and transmitted to FEMA by your letter dated November 20, 2007. The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of funding for repair of the seawall and erosion of the shoreline adjacent to the Romberg Tiburon Center and the eligibility of emergency protective measures to stabilize the embankment at Building 40 at the Romberg Tiburon Center.

Heavy rains, high tides, high winds, and wave action during the disaster event impacted a concrete seawall and eroded a 753-foot section of shoreline adjacent to the Romberg Tiburon Center, a facility owned by the Applicant and in active use at the time of the event. On August 2, 2006, FEMA prepared PW 763 for $2,558,421 to repair the concrete seawall and replace riprap along the eroded shoreline. Based on a review of aerial photographs of the site taken in 2002 which showed existing damage to the concrete seawall and significant erosion to the shoreline, FEMA determined that the damaged seawall and shoreline restoration were not eligible for funding.
During a site visit on July 19, 2007, FEMA observed that a pre-existing breach in the seawall had allowed tidal waters to invade the wall on a twice-daily basis since at least the date of the aerial photos (2002). The site inspection also revealed that the seawall’s drainage system and supporting beams had deteriorated over time to a state that water saturating the site had not been draining off sufficiently to prevent damage to the facility. In addition, the embankment abutting Building 40, an active classroom and storage facility, had receded to as close as one foot from the building. The Applicant asserted that as much as eight feet of the embankment and associated shoreline was lost during the declared event.

In its first appeal dated January 16, 2007, the Applicant acknowledged that the seawall had been damaged prior to the disaster event and that shoreline erosion had been occurring for years. However, the Applicant argued that FEMA had failed to discern the extent of the additional damages caused during the storm period of March 29, 2006, through April 16, 2006. FEMA agreed that the disaster may have caused additional damages to the seawall and shoreline, but determined that there was extensive deterioration of the seawall and shoreline prior to the disaster event. As a consequence of the pre-existing damages, the Deputy Regional Administrator denied the Applicant’s first appeal in a letter dated August 21, 2007. The Deputy Regional Administrator determined that emergency protective measures may be eligible to stabilize the embankment adjacent to Building 40 to address an immediate threat to the structure. The Deputy Regional Administrator requested that the Applicant provide a detailed, cost-effective scope of work and cost estimate to stabilize the embankment adjacent to Building 40 so that FEMA Region IX could prepare a Category B, Emergency Protective Measures PW for the work.

With its second appeal dated September 21, 2007, the Applicant provided a geotechnical report. The geotechnical report and additional information requested by the Deputy Regional Administrator included several repair options and cost estimates relating to the seawall and shoreline but contained no information or recommendations addressing the issue of stabilization of the embankment at Building 40.
The Applicant has not provided documentation demonstrating a cost-effective, detailed scope of work and cost estimate for emergency protective measures to address a possible immediate threat resulting from erosion near Building 40. The seawall was damaged and there was significant shoreline erosion prior to the disaster event. Pursuant to 44 Code of Federal Regulations §206.223(a)(1), to be eligible for financial assistance, an item of work must be required as the result of a major disaster event. Accordingly, due to the pre-disaster damages to the seawall and the pre-disaster erosion to the shoreline, the repair and restoration of these facilities are not eligible for FEMA financial assistance. Therefore, the Applicant’s second appeal is denied.

Please advise the Applicant of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision in 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