Collapse to view only § 204.54 - Appeals.

§ 204.51 - Application and approval procedures for a fire management assistance grant.

(a) Preparing and submitting an application. (1) After the approval of a fire management assistance declaration, the State may submit an application package for a grant to the Regional Administrator. The application package must include the Application for Federal Assistance and Summary of Assurances - Non-construction Programs, as well as supporting documentation for the budget.

(2) The State must submit its grant application within 9 months of the declaration. Upon receipt of the written request from the State, the Regional Administrator may grant an extension for up to 6 months. The State's request must include a justification for the extension.

(b) Fire cost threshold. (1) FEMA will approve the initial grant award to the State when FEMA determines that the State's application demonstrates either of the following:

(i) Total eligible costs for the declared fire meet or exceed the individual fire cost threshold; or

(ii) Total costs of all declared and non-declared fires for which a State has assumed responsibility in a given calendar year meet the cumulative fire cost threshold.

(2) The individual fire cost threshold for a State is the greater of the following:

(i) $100,000; or

(ii) Five percent × $1.07 × the State population, adjusted annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published annually by the Department of Labor.

(3) The cumulative fire cost threshold for a State is the greater of the following:

(i) $500,000; or

(ii) Three times the five percent × $1.07 × the State population as described in § 204.51(b)(2)(ii).

(4) States must document the total eligible costs for a declared fire on Project Worksheets, which they must submit with the grant application.

(5) FEMA will not consider the costs of pre-positioning resources for the purposes of determining whether the grant application meets the fire cost threshold.

(6) When the State's total eligible costs associated with the fire management assistance declaration meet or exceed the fire cost threshold eligible costs will be cost shared in accordance with § 204.61.

(c) Approval of the State's grant application. The Regional Administrator has 45 days from receipt the State's grant application or an amendment to the State's grant application, including attached supporting Project Worksheet(s), to review and approve or deny the grant application or amendment; or to notify the recipient of a delay in processing funding.

(d) Obligation of the grant. Before FEMA approves the State's grant application, the State must have an up-to-date State Administrative Plan and a Hazard Mitigation Plan that has been reviewed and approved by the Regional Administrator. Once these plans are approved by the Regional Administrator, the State's grant application may be approved and FEMA may begin to obligate the Federal share of funding for subgrants to the recipient.

(1) State administrative plan. (i) The State must develop an Administrative Plan (or have a current Administrative Plan on file with FEMA) that describes the procedures for the administration of the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program. The Plan will include, at a minimum, the items listed below:

(A) The designation of the State agency or agencies which will have responsibility for program administration.

(B) The identification of staffing functions for the Fire Management Assistance Program, the sources of staff to fill these functions, and the management and oversight responsibilities of each.

(C) The procedures for:

(1) Notifying potential applicants of the availability of the program;

(2) Assisting FEMA in determining applicant eligibility;

(3) Submitting and reviewing subgrant applications;

(4) Processing payment for subgrants;

(5) Submitting, reviewing, and accepting subgrant performance and financial reports;

(6) Monitoring, close-out, and audit and reconciliation of subgrants;

(7) Recovering funds for disallowed costs;

(8) Processing appeal requests and requests for time extensions; and

(9) Providing technical assistance to applicants and subgrant recipients, including briefings for potential applicants and materials on the application procedures, program eligibility guidance and program deadlines.

(ii) The recipient may request the Regional Administrator to provide technical assistance in the preparation of the State Administrative Plan.

(2) Hazard Mitigation Plan. As a requirement of receiving funding under a fire management assistance grant, a State, or tribal organization, acting as recipient, must:

(i) Develop a Mitigation Plan in accordance with 44 CFR part 201 that addresses wildfire risks and mitigation measures; or

(ii) Incorporate wildfire mitigation into the existing Mitigation Plan developed and approved under 44 CFR part 201 that also addresses wildfire risk and contains a wildfire mitigation strategy and related mitigation initiatives.

[66 FR 57347, Nov. 14, 2001, as amended at 68 FR 61371, Oct. 28, 2003; 79 FR 63546, Oct. 24, 2014; 82 FR 42, Jan. 3, 2017]

§ 204.52 - Application and approval procedures for a subgrant under a fire management assistance grant.

(a) Request for Fire Management Assistance. (1) State, local, and tribal governments interested in applying for fire management assistance subgrants must submit a Request for Fire Management Assistance subgrant to the recipient in accordance with State procedures and within timelines set by the recipient, but no longer than 30 days after the close of the incident period.

(2) The recipient will review and forward the Request to the Regional Administrator for final review and determination. The recipient may also forward a recommendation for approval of the Request to the Regional Administrator when appropriate.

(3) The Regional Administrator will approve or deny the request based on the eligibility requirements outlined in § 204.41.

(4) The Regional Administrator will notify the recipient of his/her determination; the recipient will inform the applicant.

(b) Preparing a Project Worksheet. (1) Once the Regional Administrator approves an applicant's Request for Fire Management Assistance, the Regional Administrator's staff may begin to work with the recipient and local staff to prepare Project Worksheets.

(2) The Regional Administrator may request the Principal Advisor to assist in the preparation of Project Worksheets.

(3) The State will be the primary contact for transactions with and on behalf of the applicant.

(c) Submitting a Project Worksheet. (1) Applicants should submit all Project Worksheets through the recipient for approval and transmittal to the Regional Administrator as part of the State's application.

(2) The recipient will determine the deadline for an applicant to submit completed Project Worksheets, but the deadline must be no later than six months from close of the incident period.

(3) At the request of the recipient, the Regional Administrator may extend the time limitations in this section for up to 6 months when the recipient justifies and makes a request in writing.

(4) Project Worksheets will not be accepted after the deadline in paragraph (c)(2) of this section has expired, or, if applicable, after an extension specified by the Regional Administrator in paragraph (c)(3) of this section has expired.

(5) $1,000 Project Worksheet minimum. When the costs reported are less than $1,000, that work is not eligible and FEMA will not approve that Project Worksheet. This minimum threshold does not apply to Project Worksheets submitted for the direct and indirect costs of administration of a fire grant, as defined in § 204.63.

[66 FR 57347, Nov. 14, 2001, as amended at 79 FR 63546, Oct. 24, 2014; 82 FR 42, Jan. 3, 2017]

§ 204.53 - Certifying costs and payments.

(a) By submitting applicants' Project Worksheets to FEMA, the recipient is certifying that all costs reported on applicant Project Worksheets were incurred for work that was performed in compliance with FEMA laws, regulations, policy and guidance applicable to the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, as well as with the terms and conditions outlined for the administration of the grant in the FEMA-State Agreement for the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program.

(b) Advancement/Reimbursement for State grant costs will be processed as follows:

(1) Through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services SMARTLINK system; and

(2) In compliance with 2 CFR 200.305 and U.S. Treasury 31 CFR part 205, Cash Management Improvement Act.

[66 FR 57347, Nov. 14, 2001, as amended at 79 FR 63546, Oct. 24, 2014; 79 FR 76085, Dec. 19, 2014; 82 FR 42, Jan. 3, 2017]

§ 204.54 - Appeals.

An eligible applicant, subrecipient, or recipient may appeal any determination FEMA makes related to an application for the provision of Federal assistance according to the procedures below.

(a) Format and content. The applicant or subrecipient will make the appeal in writing through the recipient to the Regional Administrator. The recipient will review and evaluate all subrecipient appeals before submission to the Regional Administrator. The recipient may make recipient-related appeals to the Regional Administrator. The appeal will contain documented justification supporting the appellant's position, specifying the monetary figure in dispute and the provisions in Federal law, regulation, or policy with which the appellant believes the initial action was inconsistent.

(b) Levels of appeal. (1) The Regional Administrator will consider first appeals for fire management assistance grant-related decisions under subparts A through E of this part.

(2) The Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate will consider appeals of the Regional Administrator's decision on any first appeal under paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(c) Time limits. (1) Appellants must file appeals within 60 days after receipt of a notice of the action that is being appealed.

(2) The recipient will review and forward appeals from an applicant or subrecipient, with a written recommendation, to the Regional Administrator within 60 days of receipt.

(3) Within 90 days following receipt of an appeal, the Regional Administrator (for first appeals) or Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate (for second appeals) will notify the recipient in writing of the disposition of the appeal or of the need for additional information. A request by the Regional Administrator or Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate for additional information will include a date by which the information must be provided. Within 90 days following the receipt of the requested additional information or following expiration of the period for providing the information, the Regional Administrator or Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate will notify the recipient in writing of the disposition of the appeal. If the decision is to grant the appeal, the Regional Administrator will take appropriate implementing action.

(d) Technical advice. In appeals involving highly technical issues, the Regional Administrator or may, at his or her discretion, submit the appeal to an independent scientific or technical person or group having expertise in the subject matter of the appeal for advice or recommendation. The period for this technical review may be in addition to other allotted time periods. Within 90 days of receipt of the report, the Regional Administrator or Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate will notify the recipient in writing of the disposition of the appeal.

(e) The decision of the Assistant Administrator for the Disaster Assistance Directorate at the second appeal level will be the final administrative decision of FEMA.

[66 FR 57347, Nov. 14, 2001, as amended at 79 FR 63546, Oct. 24, 2014; 82 FR 42, Jan. 3, 2017]

§§ 204.55-204.60 - §[Reserved]