The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III and the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (West Virginia) requested our assistance at FEMA’s Joint Field Office in Charleston, West Virginia to provide assurance that FEMA is complying with Public Assistance and Federal grant requirements regarding the eligibility of damages to the runway safety area at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. FEMA opened the Joint Field Office in response to a disaster declaration for severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that occurred in March 2015. FEMA should take reasonable steps to determine whether the damage to the runway safety area (i.e., the Engineered Arresting structure) at Yeager Airport is the direct result of the disaster, and, if so, that a duplication of benefits does not occur. Further, FEMA should fully document such determinations in the agency’s official disaster records. This action should provide reasonable assurance that FEMA obligates Public Assistance funding only for eligible work, thus preventing future large deobligations or recoveries for work that FEMA or an audit may later determine to be ineligible.
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