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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 035-99035-00; Forrest County
DSR ID# Project Worksheet 8837; Mold Remediation
Citation:FEMA-1604-DR-MS, Forrest Count, Mold Remediation, Project Worksheet (PW) 8837
Hurricane Katrina disrupted electrical power in the Forrest County (Applicant) Courthouse for nine days. The power disruption, high humidity, and moisture resulted in the growth and spread of mold throughout the facility which necessitated extensive interior repairs and temporary relocation of staff. Staff returned to the facility immediately after the storm and remained in the building until May 2006. FEMA initially prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 8837 for $506,108, the estimated cost of mold remediation and temporary relocation. Following further review of the PW, FEMA denied the funding. FEMA determined that a combination of deferred maintenance and post-storm negligence caused the damages. Based upon inspections, FEMAs mold specialist determined the building was in an advanced state of disrepair and that moisture and significant mold growth existed in the building prior to the storm. The inspection team also claimed that the Applicant was negligent in protecting the facility from further damage because maintenance staff had not cleaned Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems or replaced filters prior to restoring power.
The Applicant appealed the denial of Public Assistance funding asserting that it acted in a prudent manner by quickly restoring temperature and humidity control in an effort to minimize additional mold proliferation. The Applicant also contends that FEMA should provide reimbursement for at least 40 percent of mold remediation costs based on a reasonable apportionment for disaster-related damage and claims. The Applicant also contested FEMAs claim of negligence.
Was the mold damage a direct result of the disaster?
44 CFR §206.223; FEMA Recovery Division Fact Sheet 9580.100, Mold Remediation
, dated November 7, 2006