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Environmental Assessment for Berlin State-Run Psychiatric Hospital, Washington County, Berlin, VT (October 2012)

As a result of damages caused by Tropical Storm Irene between August 27 and September 2, 2011, the President declared a major disaster for the State of Vermont under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.  In response to Irene and the flooding within the Waterbury State Office Complex (WSOC), the State of Vermont took immediate action to relocate patients housed in the Vermont State Hospital (VSH) on the WSOC campus to alternate facilities around the state. Since the closing of the 54-bed VSH, there have not been enough hospital beds to care for everyone who needs that care. People have waited long periods in hospital emergency rooms and/or have been turned away from care facilities. Currently, patients have been distributed throughout the State in hospitals and facilities that previously cared for other mental health patients. This has put a tremendous amount of pressure on the State’s ability to care for the mental health community. FEMA has prepared this Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet its environmental review responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) implementing regulations (40 C.F.R. Parts 1500 through 1508), and FEMA’s implementing regulations (44 C.F.R. Part 10).