The city-owned Sinclair plant was damaged by fires and flooding,
and is now being demolished.
The local newspaper says FEMA denied the city's request, saying many of the buildings at the plant were not in use at the time of the June 2008 flood.
FEMA's decision follows a similar denial for about $13 million tied to the city's flood-damage hydroelectric plant. The agency says it was disabled by an ice storm before the flood. Cedar Rapids also was seeking about $3 million for the flood-damaged Quality Chef plant.
The city was seeking funds for alternative projects when public facilities are destroyed and can't be reused after a disaster.