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Waterline Relocation

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter Appeal Analysis

Appeal Brief

DisasterFEMA-1159-DR
ApplicantChuckanut Trails Water Associtation
Appeal TypeSecond
PA ID#073-90100
PW ID#22999
Date Signed1999-08-27T04:00:00
Citation: Appeal Brief; Second Appeal; Chuckanut Trails Association; FEMA-1159-DR-WA;
PA #073-90100

Cross Reference: DSR 22999; Waterline Relocation; Category F

Summary: As a result of the rainstorms of 1997, damage occurred to the Chuckanut Crest Drive roadway and shoulder in Bellingham, Washington. Due to failure of the roadway, 1,000 lineal feet of an 8" PVC fire-control waterline owned by the Chuckanut Trails Water Association (CTWA) was damaged. FEMA prepared DSR 22999 for $31,006 to relocate, replace and restore the waterline under the shoulder on the opposite side of the road because of an unstable roadway prism. The CTWA did not agree with the DSR Team's decision to relocate the waterline. The CTWA appealed the requirement that the waterline be moved to the other side of the road and the determination that the site was previously unstable. The Regional Director denied the appeal and reduced funding to $24,075 to restore the facility in its original location without stabilization and without restoring the roadway. In the second appeal, the CTWA stated that the DSR team made a hasty and uninformed decision concerning the cause of the damage and incorrectly labeled the cause of damage as a landslide. The CTWA submitted a memorandum from D. C. Staab, who was the State member of the original DSR team, which concluded "that these failures should not be categorized as landslides, but as slope erosion directly related to the disaster event."

Issues:
  1. Was the waterline damage caused by the disaster?
  2. Was the roadway fill that contained the waterline unstable prior to the disaster?
Findings:
  1. Yes. Documentation supported the cause of damage to be disaster related erosion and the waterline support was in an engineered fill embankment. Eligible expenses total $52,084, including $43,404 ($110,804 - $67,400) and $8,680 for engineering and geotechnical engineering (10 % each). The currently approved funding is $24,075, therefore an additional $28,009 is eligible for funding.
  2. No. The engineering and geologic reports support the stability of the roadway; therefore the waterline relocation and integral ground to support the waterline are eligible for FEMA funding.
Rationale: 44 CFR 206.223

Appeal Letter

August 27, 1999

Ms. Donna J. Voss
Governor's Authorized Representative
State of Washington Military Department
MS: TA-20 Building #20
Camp Murray, WA 98430-5122

RE: Second Appeal - Chuckanut Trails Water Association, Water line Relocation, FEMA-1159-DR-WA, DSR 22999

Dear Ms. Voss:

This is in response to your letter dated November 17, 1998, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) forwarding a second appeal of Chuckanut Trails Water Association (CTWA) for $150,000, to repair and replace a waterline.

As a result of the rainstorms of 1997, damage occurred to 1,000 lineal feet of an 8" PVC fire-control waterline owned by the CTWA in Bellingham, Washington. FEMA prepared DSR 22999 for $31,006 to relocate and restore the waterline on the opposite side of the road because of an unstable roadway prism. The CTWA appealed the waterline relocation and unstable slope determination. The Regional Director denied the appeal and reduced the funding to $24,075 to restore the facility to its original location without stabilization and roadway restoration. In the second appeal, the CTWA provided additional documentation to support the stability of the waterline facility. As explained in the enclosed analysis, I approve an additional $28,009 for the waterline restoration. With this letter, I am requesting the Regional Director prepare a DSR to provide funding. However, a time extension must be granted by the State for any work not completed within 18 months of the disaster declaration and FEMA must approve a time extension for work not completed within 48 months of the declaration.

Please inform the applicant of my determination. In accordance with the appeal procedure governing appeal decisions made on or after May 8, 1998, my decision constitutes the final decision on this matter. The current appeal procedure was published as a final rule in the Federal Register on April 8, 1998. It amends 44 CFR 206.206.
Sincerely,

/S/

Lacy E. Suiter
Executive Associate Director
Response and Recovery Directorate

Enclosure

cc: Martha Z. Whetstone
Regional Director
FEMA Region IX

Appeal Analysis

BACKGROUND

As a result of the rainstorms of 1997, damage occurred to the Chuckanut Crest Drive roadway and shoulder in Bellingham, Washington. Due to the failure of the roadway embankment, 1,000 lineal feet (lf) of an eight (8) inch PVC fire-control waterline owned by the Chuckanut Trails Water Association (CTWA) was damaged. Chuckanut Crest Drive is a private road owned by the Chuckanut Trails Road Association (CTRA), which is an ineligible applicant.
FEMA prepared Damage Survey Report (DSR) 22999 for $31,006 to relocate and restore the waterline under the shoulder on the opposite side of the road. The Federal/State inspection team determined that the fill section of the road was unstable due to unstable fill material in the road prism. Therefore, the scope of eligible work was limited to relocation of the waterline to the opposite side of the roadway in undisturbed earth. This determination was based on CTWA's geotechnical consultant recommendations and it would permit waterline repair without slope stabilization and roadway restoration.

The CTWA member of the inspection team did not concur with this recommendation. The CTWA submitted a letter of non-concurrence and requested funding of $6,000 for an engineering and geotechnical engineering study to establish the cause of the failure and the repair methodology.

First Appeal

On April 7, 1998, the CTWA submitted the first appeal with a detailed first appeal package dated December 12, 1997. The basis of the appeal was that slope failure and fill instability were not the cause of the damage to the waterline, but rather Rain-on-Snow water-driven erosion. Additionally, the applicant contended that relocation to the uphill side of the roadway was not practical due to required rock excavation to install the waterline and the right-of-way required was not available to CTWA. The CTWA provided documentation from Martin, Northart and Spencer (MNS) Engineering, which supported their position. The CTWA submitted multiple construction cost estimates as follows:
  • $92,940 for relocation to uphill side of roadway (including engineering)
  • $132,964 for restoration two to three feet below the original position (including engineering & geotechnical)
  • $121,844 for restoration in the original position
The CTWA indicated that of these options the only viable alternative was to restore the waterline at the original location because right-of-way easements were under the control of the CTRA and they were against the relocation to the uphill side. In addition, the construction on the uphill side would require blasting into bedrock and possible disruption to other utilities.
The State of Washington Emergency Management Division (EMD) supported the CTWA's appeal request and recommended approval of the waterline restoration in its original position. However, the EMD noted that the retaining wall would not be eligible as mitigation, because it was not cost effective.

The Regional Director determined that the portion of the site supporting the waterline was unstable and site stabilization and road restoration were not eligible. However, the Regional Director concurred with the CTWA's position to restore the waterline in its original location, rather than on the uphill side of the roadway. Therefore, a revised DSR for $24,075 was prepared to restore the facility in its original location without stabilization and without restoring the road. This revised estimate was based on the unit prices submitted by CTWA .

Second Appeal

On November 17, 1999, the EMD submitted the second appeal on behalf of the CTWA. The EMD included supporting documentation from a September 15, 1998, submittal from the CTWA. The CTWA's documentation reiterates the analysis and discussion from the first appeal and includes an additional review from JAK Engineering. The CTWA submission does not include any supporting cost estimates.
The second appeal submission by EMD, indicates that the CTWA estimated costs at $300,000, however EMD recommends approval of $150,000 of eligible costs. No cost estimates or support documentation were provided. Additionally, the EMD notes that the State member of the original inspection team, a professional engineering geologist, reversed his opinion and indicated that the damage was caused by the slope erosion related to the disaster, not landslides.

DISCUSSION

The issue of the second appeal is whether the supporting ground for the waterline restoration is eligible for funding. The waterline of the CTWA is an eligible facility, in accordance with Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 206.223. At the time of the original DSR inspection, it was determined that the site was historically unstable and the DSR provided for restoration of the waterline to the opposite side of the roadway in undisturbed earth. However, the CTWA did not concur with this determination and requested a geotechnical study to determine the cause of failure and the appropriate solution. FEMA did not approve this request, and the CTWA hired its own geotechnical engineer to perform a geotechnical evaluation. Information and evaluation by the applicant's engineering firms and the original State inspector determined that the site was stable prior to the disaster. This documentation (information within the evaluations) demonstrates that the damages occurred in the fill installed as part of the original facility and recognize that the damages were a result of slope erosion related to the disaster. As such, restoration of the integral ground to support the waterline is eligible. However, neither the CTWA nor the State submitted any documentation to support their requested cost estimate of $300,000 or $150,000, respectively. Upon request, the applicant provided the first appeal estimate of the costs for $132,964. This estimate was developed by MNS engineering for CTWA using the concept of lowering the waterline two to three feet, including $110,804 for saw-cutting asphalt ($1,491), pavement removal ($1,800), rock excavation ($11,000), excavation ($1,800), rock wall ($51,800), concrete retaining wall ($15,600), backfill ($8,835), pipe and fittings ($14,458), asphalt repaving and flagging ($4,020) and an additional $22,160 for engineering and geotechnical services. Exclusive of the rock and retaining walls (which were determined to be non-cost effective by FEMA and the State in the first appeal), this estimate provides a reasonable method of restoring the waterline and the integral ground to the pre-disaster condition. Therefore, eligible expenses total $52,084, including $43,404 ($110,804 - $67,400) and $8,680 for engineering and geotechnical engineering (10 % each). The currently approved funding is $24,075, therefore an additional $28,009 is eligible for funding.

CONCLUSION

The waterline and its supporting foundation are an eligible facility which were damaged by DR-1159. As a result, an additional $28,009 to restore the waterline and supporting foundation are eligible for funding. Therefore, the appeal is partially approved, as discussed above.
Last updated February 4, 2020