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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 083-UB2BD-00; Westmont College
PW ID# 172 and 208; Replacement of Bauder Hall and Physics Building
Citation: FEMA-1810-DR-CA, Westmont College, Project Worksheets (PWs) 172 and 208
Cross-Reference: Improved project
Summary: Wildfires between November 13 and 28, 2008, caused extensive damage to Bauder Hall and the Physics Building at Westmont College (Applicant). FEMA prepared PW 172 with a cost estimate of $494,956 for demolition and reconstruction of Bauder Hall and $107 in Direct Administrative Costs (DAC), but reduced the eligible amount by $484,956 in anticipated insurance proceeds. FEMA also prepared PW 208 for $903,170 for demolition and reconstruction of the Physics Building, and included $120 in DAC, but reduced the total by $903,170 in anticipated insurance proceeds. On May 26, 2010, the Applicant requested an improved project to move the functions of Bauder Hall and the Physics building into the planned construction project of Winter Hall. As the construction of Winter Hall was already complete at the time of the improved project request, FEMA was unable to verify the project’s compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and deobligated $10,107 and $120 with versions to PWs 172 and 208, respectively.
On February 9, 2012, the Applicant appealed FEMA’s determination, stating that incorporating the functions of the two completely destroyed buildings into Winter Hall was in the Applicant’s best interest. The Applicant claimed that it complied with environmental and historic preservation requirements through an analysis and Environmental Impact Report. The Regional Administrator denied the appeal on March 29, 2012, noting that in accordance with 44 CFR §10, FEMA must evaluate environmental consequences of improved projects prior to construction.
In a second appeal, submitted on August 20, 2012, the Applicant states that the improved project did not have a negative effect on the environment. The appeal letter notes previous instances in which FEMA conducted after-the-fact environmental and historic reviews. The Applicant has not submitted documentation that would satisfy FEMA’s environmental and historic preservation legal commitments.
Issues: Does the Applicant’s documentation satisfy FEMA’s requirement to conduct reviews of improved projects in order to ensure compliance with all applicable federal environmental and historic preservation laws and executive orders?
Rationale: Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) §10.4, Policy; 36 CFR §800.1, Purposes and 50 CFR §402, General