o The State of Kansas submitted an application on behalf of the City of Wichita to construct a detention basin to relieve downstream flooding, including the acquisition of 546 acres and the construction of a 12,000-foot berm with outlet (dam and spillway). Region VII denied the project application on the basis the project constituted a major flood control project, did not conform to program requirements, and imposed residual risk associated with construction of a high-hazard dam. The State of Kansas submitted an appeal requesting reconsideration and the Regional Administrator upheld the denial of the application.
• Reason for Denial
o The reasons for Region VII’s denial of the 1st appeal were unchanged from those given for the original denial of the application. The Region’s response cited 44 CFR 206.434, HMGP eligibility requirements.
o 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; HMGP Desk Reference (page 7-1) Residual Risk; 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals
o The subgrantee filed a second appeal through Region VII asking for a review of the justification and rationale set forth in the first appeal, and claiming that the project met all requirements and that the Desk Reference does not define major flood control projects.
• FEMA Findings
o FEMA HQ denied the 2nd appeal, upholding Region VII’s decision to deny the 1st appeal.
o Rationale: The large size of the project was not consistent with FEMA’s goal of restoring and preserving the natural and beneficial use of floodplains, and constituted an unwise use of Federal funds.
o Reference(s): 44 CFR 206.440 Appeals; 44 CFR 206.434 Eligibility; HMGP Desk Reference (page 7-1) Residual Risk; EO 11988; 44 CFR 9.2(b)(7) Preserving the natural and beneficial use of floodplains