PoliticalNews.me - Nov 14,2013 - Bennet, Udall: 2007 FEMA Policy Could Support Debris Removal in Evans, other Colorado Communities
Senators Identify 2007 FEMA Policy that Could Help City’s Efforts to Remove Uninhabitable Mobile Homes
More than 200 mobile homes in the City of Evans have been damaged from September’s flooding and require removal, but the cash-strapped city is struggling to find the resources to foot the bill. To support the city’s efforts, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall are calling on FEMA to use a policy for private property debris removal dating back to 2007.
Under that policy, the City of Evans may be eligible for FEMA Public Assistance to remove damaged mobile homes because the homes meet key criteria set by the FEMA policy.
The two Senators wrote a letter to FEMA today urging it to follow this policy and make public assistance available to help Evans clean up its mobile homes in the Bella Vista and Eastwood Village parks. The Senators also asked FEMA to apply the debris removal policy to other Colorado communities, such as Jamestown, Longmont, Lyons, and Milliken, which are in similar situations, should the towns make similar requests.
In a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, the senators wrote, “The historic floods in Colorado this year resulted in the damage or destruction of over 200 mobile homes in the City of Evans. Due to the scale of the destruction, the trailers were rendered uninhabitable and deemed a threat to public health and safety that need to be removed as debris. These trailers sit on privately owned property, and due to the extent of the flood damage, it is clear that they should qualify as debris.
“The FEMA Disaster Assistance Policy entitled “Debris Removal from Private Property” (DAP9523.13) establishes criteria to evaluate the eligibility of debris removal from private property for reimbursement. These criteria include the elimination of immediate threats to life, public health, and safety; elimination of immediate threats of significant damage to improved public or private property; or to ensure economic recovery of the affected community. The policy makes clear that any one of these three criteria is sufficient to obtain FEMA public assistance. In the City of Evans, debris removal would address an immediate threat to public health and safety and would facilitate the economic recovery of the community.”
Bennet and Udall have worked closely with the Colorado Congressional delegation since the flooding began to ensure that Coloradans have every resource needed to save lives and rebuild. They helped lead a delegation-wide effort that successfully lifted the cap on the amount of emergency transportation resources Colorado could access to rebuild damaged infrastructure. The senators also led the Colorado delegation to urge the President to quickly declare an emergency when flooding began to ensure that emergency funding was available for response and recovery efforts. More recently, they voiced support for Governor Hickenlooper’s request to add additional counties to those eligible for individual and public assistance and to extend the application deadline for applying for support from