FEMA Public Assistance Appeal: Alternate Project
PA ID# 183-76220-00; Town of Zebulon
Facts: In an initial eligibility determination, FEMA denied the Applicant’s request to apply for the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot (PAAP) Program finding the Applicant did not meet the 12-month opt-in deadline and did not provide justification for an extension of time to apply. The Applicant appealed, explaining that the delay in meeting the PAAP Program deadline was due to the time it spent clarifying the legal responsibility and ownership of the Dam and engaging the community to decide the best use of the Dam. In the first appeal decision, FEMA denied the request to participate in the PAAP Program, relying on similar bases as mentioned in the initial determination. The Region also ruled that any appeal of the PW award was untimely. On second appeal, the Applicant makes similar arguments.
Conclusion: The appeal is denied. The Applicant did not meet the deadline to participate in the PAAP Program and did not provide justification for an extension of time; therefore, its project will be processed under standard PA procedures. In addition, the Applicant did not appeal the amount obligated in PW 1831; therefore, the issue of timeliness concerning that matter is not ripe for review.
- Under the PAAP Program, applicants can elect to receive subgrants for large permanent work projects based on agreed-upon fixed cost estimates, instead of the actual costs of completing the eligible scope of work. At the time of this disaster, the PAAP Program required an applicant and FEMA to agree upon the fixed cost estimate within 12 months after the disaster declaration date. An applicant could have requested a time extension to that timeframe but had to provide justification. The Applicant did not request participation in the PAAP Program until 4 months after the PAAP Program participation deadline expired and has not justified a time extension.
- Section 423(a) of the Stafford Act provides that any decision regarding eligibility for assistance may be appealed within 60 days after the date on which the applicant is notified of the award or denial of assistance. The administrative record does not indicate when FEMA notified the Applicant of its appeal rights concerning the PW obligation amount; therefore, the issue of timeliness is not ripe for appeal.