Oklahoma City - Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building HMGP projects
|Applicant||Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management|
o Region VI had denied approval of HMGP funding for the purchase of equipment for emergency preparedness. The Oklahoma Emergency Management Agency (OEMA), on behalf of City of Oklahoma City, addressed the appeal to FEMA HQ, waiving the 1st appeal process provided in 44 CFR 206.440.
• Reason for Denial
o The HMGP application was denied Region VI because the proposed activity to be funded was not eligible. The 1st appeal was waived by OEMA when the appeal was filed with the Associate Director for Mitigation at FEMA HQ.
o 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals
o The City of Oklahoma City requested through OEMA funding to purchase equipment for the purpose of preparing for future response efforts to threats or acts of terrorism. The proposed equipment included rescue tools and equipment, a fire emergency and command post, and incident command computer hardware and software.
• FEMA Findings
o The Region’s original determination against HMGP assistance was upheld, and the 2nd appeal was denied.
o The rationale for the decision was that the proposed project failed to demonstrate that implementation would result in a permanent reduction in property damages as per the Stafford Act and HMGP regulations, but instead would contribute to preparedness and response activities. The decision letter in addition refers to a policy memorandum dated February 7, 1992, stating that the purchase of response equipment does not constitute an eligible activity under the HGMP, if the purpose of such equipment is to improve preparedness and response capability. The HMGP application had stated that the benefit of the project was to enhance post-disaster mitigation by increasing the capabilities of response and recovery activities.
o Reference(s): Stafford Act; 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; Policy Memorandum of February 7, 1992 Purchase of Response Equipment; 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals
Oklahoma Emergency Management Agency
P. 0. Box 43097
> $500,000 for Rescue Tools and Equipment;
> $200,000 for a Fire Department Emergency Command Post; and
> $200,000 for Incident Command Software and Computer Equipment.
I would like to express my sympathy for the victims, their families, and the countless others who were affected by the tragedy that occurred in Oklahoma City. The threat of terrorism in the State of Oklahoma and in other areas of the United States is an extremely serious concern. Nothing in this review should be interpreted to imply a lessening or denigration of that concern. While the proposal submitted by the City of Oklahoma City may better prepare future response efforts to threats or acts of terrorism, it is not appropriately funded under the HMGP.
Both the Stafford Act and the HMGP regulations require that the implementation of a project should result in a permanent reduction in property damages. In my review of the proposal, I find no relationship between the implementation of the project and a subsequent reduction in property damages. The current proposal is aimed more towards preparedness and response activities which are not eligible under the HMGP. FEMA issued guidelines regarding the eligibility of equipment purchases in a policy memorandum dated February 7, 1992. The policy states that the purchase of response equipment does not constitute an eligible activity under the HMGP, if the purpose of such equipment is to improve preparedness and response capability. The applicant stated in their application that the ultimate benefit of the project is to "... greatly enhance post-disaster mitigation by increasing the capabilities of response and recovery activities." For these reasons, I concur with the findings of the Mitigation Division Director, Region VI, and support his denial of the project proposal.
Staff in FEMA Region VI are available to assist both the State of Oklahoma and the City of Oklahoma City in identifying alternative projects to utilize their HMGP funds. We look forward to working with you in this matter.
Michael J. Armstrong
Associate Director for Mitigation