o The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) submitted an application on behalf of the Pearlington-Port Bienville Regional Water Supply for Global Match credit for providing potable water lines to replace private wells impacted by the inundation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The project included the installation of water lines for future development. When the Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office (TRO) denied the application, MEMA contended that the project did not constitute a capital improvement; rather it was mitigating the human health concern caused by well contamination. Additionally, the Applicant stated that the expansion of the water supply to areas less vulnerable to flooding would encourage coastal residents to relocate, furthering the mitigation goal of the project.
• Reason for Denial
o Region VII supported the denial by the TRO and based the denial of the 1st appeal on the facts that the project, as designed, constituted a capital improvement that did not primarily mitigate an existing risk, did not solve a problem independently, and that funding the project would result in a Duplication of Programs (DOP), because water system expansions typically are funded through federal water system grants or local bonds.
o 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility, Independent Solution or Functional Portion of a Solution, DOP; 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals, 44 CFR 206.436(d) Application Procedures
o The subgrantee filed a second appeal through Region VII, stating that the water project constituted a mitigation project solved a problem independently, and that the project did not result in a DOP. Also stated was that they were seeking credit for Global Match, not actual funding for the project.
• FEMA Findings
o FEMA HQ denied the 2nd appeal, supporting Region IV’s decision to deny the 1st appeal; however it was noted that a reduced scope may constitute an eligible project.
o Rationale: A significant portion of the project served an undeveloped area; therefore the project was not consistent with the stated goals of the Stafford Act and did not meet regulatory requirements of the HMGP.