Title 44 Part 151
Title 44 → Chapter I → Subchapter C → Part 151
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Title 44 Part 151
PART 151—REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS OF FIREFIGHTING ON FEDERAL PROPERTY
Authority: Secs. 11 and 21(b)(5), Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2210 and 2218(b)(5)); Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 (3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 379) and E.O. 12127, dated Mar. 31, 1979 (3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 376).
Source: 49 FR 5929, Feb. 16, 1984, unless otherwise noted.
Subpart A—Purpose, Scope, Definitions
Section 11 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, provides that “each fire service that engages in the fighting of a fire on property which is under the jurisdiction of the United States may file a claim with the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the amount of direct expenses and direct losses incurred by such fire service as a result of fighting such fire.” This part, implements section 11 of the Act and governs the submission, determination, and appeal of claims under section 11.
Fire services, in any State, may file claims for reimbursement under section 11 and this part for the direct expenses and losses which are additional firefighting costs over and above normal operating costs incurred while fighting a fire on property which is under the jurisdiction of the United States. Section 11 requires that certain payments be deducted from those costs and that the Treasury Department will ordinarily pay the amount resulting from the application of that formula. Where the United States has entered into a contract (which is not a mutual aid agreement, defined in §151.03) for the provision of fire protection, and it is the intent of the parties that reimbursement under section 11 is unavailable, this intent will normally govern. Where a mutual aid agreement is in effect between the claimant and an agency of the United States for the property upon which the fire occurred, reimbursement will be available in otherwise proper situations. However, any payments (including the value of services) rendered under the agreement during the term of the agreement (or the Federal fiscal year in which the fire occurred, if no term is discernible) shall be deducted from the costs claimed, pursuant to §151.12.
(a) The Act means the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, 15 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.
(b) Additional firefighting costs over and above normal operating costs means reasonable and authorized (or ratified by a responsible Federal official) costs ordinarily associated with the function of firefighting as performed by a fire service. Such costs would normally arise out of response of personnel and apparatus to the site of the fire, search and rescue, exposure protection, fire containment, ventilation, salvage, extinguishment, overhaul, and preparation of the equipment for further use. This would also include costs associated with emergency medical services to the extent normally rendered by a fire service in connection with a fire. Not included are administrative expenses, costs of employee benefits, insurance, disability, death, litigation or health care, and the costs associated with processing claims under section 11 of the Act and this part.
(c) Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or his/her designee.
(d) Claimant means a fire service as defined in paragraph (g) of this section.
(e) Direct expenses and losses means expenses and losses which would not have been incurred had not the fire in question taken place. This includes salaries for specially employed personnel, overtime pay, the cost of supplies expended, and the depreciated value of equipment destroyed or damaged. It does not include such costs as the ordinary wages of firefighters, overhead costs, or depreciation (if based on other than hours of use during fires). Expenses as defined herein would normally be incurred after the first call or alarm and would normally cease upon the first of the following: Return to station, report in-service and ready for further operations, or commence response to another incident.
(f) Fire means any instance of destructive or uncontrolled burning, including scorch burns and explosions of combustible dusts or solids, flammable liquids, and gases. The definition does not include the following except where they cause fire or occur as a consequence of fire: Lightning or electrical discharge, explosion of steam boilers, hot water tanks, or other pressure vessels, explosions of ammunition or other detonating materials, overheating, mechanical failures, or breakdown of electrical equipment in power transmission facilities, and accidents involving ships, aircraft, or other vehicles. Not included in this definition are any costs associated with false alarms, regardless of cause.
(g) Fire service means any organization in any State consisting of personnel, apparatus, and equipment which has as its purpose protecting property and maintaining the safety and welfare of the public from the dangers of fire, including a private firefighting brigade. The personnel of any such organization may be paid employees or unpaid volunteers or any combination thereof. The location of any such organization and its responsibility for extinguishment and suppression of fires may include, but need not be limited to, a State, city, town, borough, parish, county, fire district, fire protection district, rural fire district, or other special district.
(h) Mutual aid agreement means any reciprocal agreement whether written or oral between a Federal agency and the claimant fire service, or its parent jurisdiction, for the purpose of providing fire protection for the property of the United States upon which the fire which gave rise to the claim occurred and for other property for which the claimant normally provides fire protection. Such agreement must be primarily one of service rendered for service, or must be entered into under 42 U.S.C. 1856 through 1856d. Not included are all other agreements and contracts, particularly those in which the intent of the parties is that the United States pays for fire protection.
(i) FEMA means the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
(j) Over and above normal operating expenses means costs, losses and expenses which are not ordinarily and necessarily associated with the maintenance, administration, and day-to-day operations of a fire service and which would not have been incurred absent the fire out of which the claim arises.
(k) Payments to the fire service or its parent jurisdiction, including taxes or payments in lieu of taxes, the United States has made for the support of fire services on the property in question means any Federal monies, or the value of services, including those made available through categorical or block grants, contracts, mutual aid agreements, taxes, and payments in lieu of taxes which the United States has paid to the fire service or its parent jurisdiction for fire protection and firefighting services. Such payments will be determined on the basis of the term of the arrangement, or if no such term is discernible, on the basis of the Federal fiscal year in which the fire occurred.
(l) Property which is under the jurisdiction of the United States means real property and Federal improvements thereon and appurtenances thereto in which the United States holds legal fee simple title. This excludes Federal leasehold interests. This likewise excludes Federal personal property on land in which the United States does not hold fee simple title.
(m) State means any State of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.
[49 FR 5929, Feb. 16, 1984, as amended at 74 FR 15344, Apr. 3, 2009]
Subpart B—Submission, Determination, Appeal
§151.11 Submission of claims.
Any fire service in any State which believes it has a claim(s) cognizable under section 11 shall submit its claim(s) in writing within 90 days of the occurrence of the fire(s) for which a claim(s) is made. If the fire is of such duration that the claimant desires to submit a claim before its conclusion, it may do so, but only for the eligible costs actually incurred to date. Additional claims may be filed for costs later incurred. Claims shall be submitted to the Director, FEMA, Washington, DC, 20472. Each claim shall include the following information:
(a) Name, address, jurisdiction and nature (volunteer, private, municipal, etc.) of claimant's fire service organization;
(b) Name, title, address and telephone number of individual authorized by the claimant fire service to make this claim in its behalf and his/her certification as to the accuracy of the information provided;
(c) Name and telephone number of Federal employee familiar with the facts of the event and the name and address of the Federal agency having jurisdiction over the property on which the fire occurred;
(d) Proof of authority to fight the fire (source of alarm, whether fire service was requested by responsible Federal official or whether such an official accepted the assistance when offered);
(e) Personnel and equipment committed to fighting of fire (type of equipment and number of items); and an itemized list of direct expenses (e.g., hours of equipment operation, fuel costs, consumables, overtime pay and wages for any specially hired personnel) and direct losses (e.g., damaged or destroyed equipment, to include purchase cost, estimate of the cost of repairs, statement of depreciated value immediately preceding and subsequent to the damage or destruction and the extent of insurance coverage) actually incurred in fighting the fire. A statement should be included explaining why each such expense or loss is considered by the claimant not be a normal operating cost, or to be in excess of normal operating costs;
(f) Copy of fire report which includes the location of the fire, a description of the property burned, the time of alarm, etc.;
(g) Such other information or documentation as the Administrator considers relevant to those considerations to be made in determining the amount authorized for payment, as set forth in §151.12 of these regulations;
(h) Source and amount of any payments received or to be received for the fiscal year in which the fire occurred, including taxes or payments in lieu of taxes and including all monies received or receivable from the United States through any program or agreement including categorical or block grants, and contracts, by the claimant fire service or its parent jurisdiction for the support of fire services on the property on which the fire occurred. If this information is available when the claim is submitted, it should accompany the claim. If it is not, the information should be submitted as soon as practicable, but no later than 15 days after the end of the Federal fiscal year in which the fire occurred.
[49 FR 5929, Feb. 16, 1984, as amended at 74 FR 15344, Apr. 3, 2009]
§151.12 Determination of amount authorized for payment.
(a) The Administrator shall determine the amount to be paid on a claim (subject to payment by the Department of the Treasury). The amount to be paid is the total of eligible expenses, costs and losses under paragraph (a)(1) of this section which exceeds the amount of payments under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The Administrator shall establish the reimbursable amount by determining:
(1) The extent to which the fire service incurred additional firefighting costs, over and above its normal operating costs, in connection with the fire which is the subject of the claim, i.e., the “amount of costs”; and
(2) What payments, if any, including taxes or payments in lieu of taxes, the fire service or its parent jurisdiction has received from the United States for the support of fire services on the property on which the fire occurred.
The reimbursable amount is the amount, if any, by which the amount of costs, determined under paragraph (a)(1) of this section exceeds the amount of payments determined under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Where more than one claim is filed the aggregate reimbursable amount is the amount by which the total amount of costs, determined under paragraph (a)(1) of this section exceed the amount of Federal payments (in the case of a mutual aid agreement—its term or if none is determinable, the Federal fiscal year) determined under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
(b) The Administrator will first determine the costs as contemplated in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. The Administrator will then notify the claimant as to that amount. The claimant must indicate within 30 days its acceptance or rejection of that amount.
(1) If the determination is accepted by the claimant, this will be the final and conclusive determination of the amount of costs by the claimant in conjunction with the fire for which the claims are submitted.
(2) If the claimant rejects this amount, it must notify the Administrator , within 30 days, of its reasons for its rejection. Upon receipt of notification of rejection, the Administrator shall reconsider his determination and notify the claimant of the results of the reconsideration. The amount determined on reconsideration will constitute the costs to be used by the Director in determining the reimbursable amount.
(c) Upon receipt of documentation from the claimant on the amount of payments the Federal Government has made for the support of fire services on the property in question, the Administrator will, following such verification or investigation as the Administrator may deem appropriate, calculate the full amount to be reimbursed under the section 11 formula as set forth in §151.12(a). This calculation of the reimbursable amount is based upon the costs determined pursuant to §151.12(b) and the documentation of Federal payments that the claimant submitted.
(d) The Administrator's determination of the reimbursable amount will be sent to the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary of the Treasury shall, upon receipt of the claim and determination made under §151.12 (a), (b), and (c), determine the amount authorized for payment, which shall be the amount actually available for payment from any monies in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated but subject to reimbursement (from any appropriations which may be available or which may be made available for the purpose) by the Federal department or agency under whose jurisdiction the fire occurred. This shall be a sum no greater, although it may be less, that the reimbursable amount determined by the Administrator , FEMA, with respect to the claim under §151.12 (a), (b) and (c).
(e) Upon receipt of written notification from the claimant of its intention to accept the amount authorized as full settlement of the claim, accompanied by a properly executed document of release, the Administrator will forward the claim, a copy of the Administrator's determination and the claimant's document of release to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment of the claim in the amount authorized.
(f) Subject to the discovery of additional material evidence, the Administrator may reconsider any determination in this section, whether or not made as his final determination.
[49 FR 5929, Feb. 16, 1984, as amended at 49 FR 38119, Sept. 27, 1984]
§151.13 Reconsideration of amount authorized for payment.
(a) If the claimant elects to protest the amount authorized for payment, after the applicable procedures of §151.12 have been followed, it must within 30 days of receipt of notification of the amount authorized notify the Administrator in writing of its objections and set forth the reasons why the Administrator should reconsider the determination. The Administrator will upon notice of protest and receipt of additional evidence reconsider the determination of the amount of Federal payments under §151.12(a)(2) but not the determination of the amount of costs under §151.12(a)(1). The Administrator shall cause a reconsideration by the Secretary of the Treasury of the amount actually available and authorized for payment by the Treasury. The Administrator, upon receipt of the Secretary of the Treasury's reconsidered determination, will notify the claimant in writing of the amount authorized, upon reconsideration, for payment in full settlement of the claim.
(b) If the claimant elects to accept the amount authorized, upon reconsideration, for payment in full settlement of its claims, it must within 30 days (or a longer period of time acceptable to the Administrator) of its receipt of that determination notify the Administrator of its acceptance in writing accompanied by a properly executed document of release. Upon receipt of such notice and document of release, the Administrator will forward the claim, a copy of the Administrator's final determination, and the claimant's document of release to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment of the claim in the amount of final authorization.
If the claimant, after written notice by the Administrator of the amount authorized for payment in full settlement of the claim and after all applicable procedures of §§151.12 and 151.13 have been followed elects to dispute the amount authorized, it may then initiate action in the United States Claims Court, which shall have jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim and enter judgment in accordance with section 11(d) of the Act.
Subpart C—Administration, Penalties
At the discretion of the Administrator, all claims submitted under section 11 of the Act and all records of the claimant will be subject to audit by the Administrator or his/her designee. In addition, the Comptroller General of the United States or his/her designee shall have access to all books and records of all claimants making claims under section 11.
Claimant's officials or others who provide information or documentation under this part are subject to, among other laws, the criminal penalties of Title 18 of the United States Code, sections 287 and 1001, which punish the submission of false, fictitious or fraudulent claims and the making of false, fictitious or fraudulent statements and which provide for a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both. For such a violation, the person is likewise subject to the civil penalties set out in 31 U.S.C. 3729 and 3730.