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Bayou La Batre, AL - Waste Water Treatment Plant Relocation

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter Appeal Analysis

Appeal Brief

ApplicantAlabama Emergency Management Agency
Appeal Type2nd
Project Number186
Date Signed2009-06-27T00:00:00
1st Appeal
• Issues
o The City of Bayou La Batre submitted through the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) a HMGP application for Hurricane Katrina funds on June 25, 2007. The application was denied by FEMA Region IV by letter of July 30, 2008. Issues with the application included:  The project scope of work included relocation within a floodplain; and the project did not pass the BC review because the documentation provided with the BCA did not substantiate the information input by the community. The BCA, based on a projected pre- to post-mitigation decrease in damages, resulted in a BCR of 0.16.
o The stated intent of the project was to relocate the function of the City’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) from the VE zone to the AE zone. Region IV determined that under the HMGP, a relocation project is considered an acquisition of the structure and underlying real property for the purpose of creating open space, relocation of the structure and conversion of the property to open space uses in perpetuity.
• Reasons for Denial
o FEMA Region IV denied the City’s appeal in correspondence dated January 29, 2009, with the determination that the relocation of existing structures must be to areas outside of the SFHA or local regulatory floodplain, outside of any regulatory erosion zones and in conformance with any other applicable State or local land-use regulations; and that the HMGP application was for a project that would relocate within a floodplain.
o Region IV determined that the proposed project was not cost effective.
• Reference(s)
o §44 CFR 206.434 (c)(5); Be cost effective and substantially reduce the risk of future damage …
o §44 CFR 206.434 (e); Property acquisitions and relocation requirements
o HMGP Desk Reference, Removal of Existing Structures
2nd Appeal
• Issue
o The Applicant claimed by letter of February 26, 2009, requesting a 2nd appeal, that in the original application submittal, the project was classified as an elevation designed at 16 feet elevation; that FEMA staff advised the applicant to re-design the project as a relocation project, using the HMGP funds to elevate to 22 feet, to accommodate the 500 year flood; and that the project was revised per FEMA’s direction and re-submitted in April 2008.
• FEMA Findings
o The 2nd appeal decision upheld the 1st appeal.
o Rationale: The 2nd appeal denial letter states that … “the project application did not meet FEMA's cost-effectiveness requirement and relocated the function within the floodplain …” and that … “The second level appeal does not contain new or substantive information that would provide grounds for overturning the decision made at the Region.”
• Reference(s)
o §44 CFR 206.434 (c)(5); Be cost effective and substantially reduce the risk of future damage …
o §44 CFR 206.434 (e); Property acquisitions and relocation requirements
o HMGP Desk Reference, Removal of Existing Structures

 

Appeal Letter

Governor Bob Riley
Office of the Governor
Montgomery, Alabama  36130
 
Dear Governor Riley:
I am writing in response to your request dated February 26, 2009 for FEMA to review the second level appeal for the City of Bayou La Batre, AL.  This second appeal follows the decision by the FEMA Region IV Office in Atlanta, GA not to award the application submitted under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
FEMA Headquarters personnel have thoroughly reviewed the information submitted with this second level appeal.  After careful consideration  I have concluded that the original determination  by Region IV should stand.  This appeal was denied because the project application did not meet FEMA's cost-effectiveness requirement and relocated the function within the floodplain.  The second level appeal does not contain new or substantive information that would provide grounds for overturning the decision made at the Region.
In conclusion, after review of the second level appeal documentation,  FEMA Headquarters concurs with the determination  by the Region that project did not meet Mitigation eligibility standards and should not be awarded.
If you have any additional questions regarding this issue, please contact Clay Saucier, Chief, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Branch, FEMA Region IV, at (770) 220-5488.

Sincerely,
Deborah S. Ingram
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Mitigation
cc:  Major Phil May, Regional Adminstrator,  FEMA Region IV
Brad Loar, Director, Mitigation Division, FEMA Region IV

 

Appeal Analysis

The project application did not meet FEMA's cost-effectiveness requirement and relocated the function within the floodplain. The overall project benefit-cost ratio (BCR) was calculated from the two BCA module runs as before mitigation damages minus after mitigation damages which equals $4,347,316. Total benefits divided by total project cost of$26,000,000 results in a benefit cost ratio of 0.16. The determination was that the proposed project is not cost effective. In addition, the letter states that under HMGP, a relocation project is considered an acquisition of the structure and underlying real property for the purpose of creating open space, relocation of the structure and conversion of the property to deed restricted open space uses in perpetuity. The relocation of existing structures must be to areas outside of the SFHA or local regulatory floodplain, outside of any regulatory erosion zones and in conformance with any other applicable State or local land-use regulations.The second level appeal does not contain new or substantive information that would provide grounds for overturning the decision made at the Region.
Last updated August 19, 2014