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Nemaha Natural Resources District - HMGP Flood Control Project

Appeal Brief Appeal Letter Appeal Analysis

Appeal Brief

ApplicantNebraska Emergency Management Agency
Appeal Type2nd
Date Signed1997-08-14T00:00:00
1st Appeal
• Issue
o The Nemaha Natural Resources District submitted an application through Nebraska Emergency Management Agency for HMGP funding of the (1) acquisition of lands/easements/rights-of- way, (2) design and (3) construction of three floodwater-retarding structures on the Upper Little Nemaha watershed. The project was not approved, and a 1st level appeal was denied by Region VII.
• Reason for Denial
o Region VII found that flood control structures were already in progress, funded by other federal authorities, resulting in Duplication of Programs (DOP) if funding through the HMGP were to be granted.
• Reference(s)
o 44 CFR 206.434 HMGP Eligibility;   44 CFR 206.440 Appeals; HMGP Desk Reference, Projects in Progress
2nd Appeal
• Issue
o The Nemaha Natural Resources District submitted a 2nd appeal to overturn the Region VII 1st appeal denial, and provided new information consisting of a plan to resolve eligibility issues, and identification of three new project sites from the planned 18 sites supported with preliminary structure designs and new cost data estimates derived from new damage data. The new information also verified that the project represented by the original HMGP application was de-authorized in 1989, subsequent to the 1st appeal denial.
• FEMA Findings
o The 2nd appeal decision verified the validity of issues leading to the 1st appeal denial, but overturned the 1st appeal denial and provided conditional approval for HMGP funding of Phase 1 of the project. The final approval of the project would be subject to environmental review and technical feasibility of the proposed flood control structures.
o The rationale for the 2nd appeal decision was that the new site information and documentation provided evidence that the project was eligible for HMGP funding because it did not duplicate other federal grant authorities (DOP) and was cost effective in mitigating future flood losses.
o Reference(s):  44 CFR 206.434 HMGP Eligibility;   44 CFR 206.440 Appeals; HMGP Desk Reference, Projects in Progress

Appeal Letter

AUG 14 1997
 
Mr. William E. V./hitney
Assistant Director
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency
1300 Military Road
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-1090

Dear Mr. Whitney:
 
This letter responds to the second level appeal filed on behalf of the Nemaha Natural Resources District for a grant under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The grant was requested under declaration FEMA-DR-998-NE for the (1) acquisition of lands/easements/rights-of- way, (2) design, and (3) construction ofthree floodwater-retarding structures on the Upper Little Nemaha watershed.
 
You asked that I, as Associate Director for Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), reverse the decision ofthe FEMA Regional Director, Region VII, because the newly proposed sites 42, 50 and 60 for these structures meet the eligibility requirements of the HMGP.
 
I have conducted a review of the application and other materials provided for this appeal. The eligibility issues identified by the Regional Director were valid, based upon the information provided to him during the first appeal. However, during the second-level appeal process, the Nemaha NRD and your Office provided new information, not available to the Regional Office.
 
As a result of that new information, I am conditionally approving the request for phase one funding. Final approval of the project is subject to completion of an environmental review and technical feasibility of final project design. Phase one funding will provide funds for the Nemaha NRD to complete design drawings and specifications for these floodwater-retarding structures.

The staff in Region VII is available to assist you and the Nemaha NRD in moving forward with phase one of this project. When phase one and the environmental review are completed and if the project is feasible, then this project will be eligible for phase two funding of land acquisition and construction of these three floodwater-retarding structures. Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Mr. Robert F. Shea, Jr., Director, Program Implementation Division, at (202) 646-3619.
 
Sincerely,
 
Michael J. Armstrong
Associate Director for Mitigation
 
Enclosure: Appeals analysis

 

Appeal Analysis

In December 1996, the Program Implementation Director indicated to Nebraska that since the original structures were already under construction, the project should not receive HMGP funding. Program Implementation Division staff worked with the State, applicant and NRCS to develop a plan to resolve eligibility issues and identify additional project sites. In February 1997, the State submitted three new project sites from the planned eighteen sites and preliminary structure designs with new cost estimates. These new sites and cost estimates are all different from the sites/cost estimates received in November 1996.
 
In April 1997, the State, applicant and NRCS as technical assistant provided damage data necessary to determining costeffectiveness for the new sites. With additional information from the NRCS, State and applicant Program Implementation staff was able to determine that the proposed structures would be cost effective and mitigate future flood losses in the Nemaha watershed. In addition, new documentation was provided to show that NRCS deauthorized the project in 1989. Combined, the new site information and documentation provided evidence that this project is eligible for HMGP funding because it does not duplicate other federal project authorities and is cost effective in mitigating future flood losses.
Last updated August 19, 2014