Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program and Related Assistance

The objectives of the grant program are to: ? Facilitate sharing environmental data, especially through shared and reusable services.

?Streamline data collection and exchanges to improve its timeliness for decision making.

?Increase the quality and access to environmental data through discovery,

credit: COURTESY PHOTO/U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Stephen Lehmann
publishing, outbound, and analytical services so it is more useful to environmental managers.

?Develop foundational EN shared services (e.g., network security or corporate portals) to reduce burden and avoid costs for co-regulators and the regulated community.

?Expand and improve participation in the EN by strengthening the requisite information management and technology capabilities for interested parties to fully participate in the EN.





EPA and its state, tribal, and territorial partners continue to expand the Exchange Network.

Building upon the success of the Network's Phase 1, EPA and its partners are guided by the Exchange Network's Phase 2 implementation plan.

Phase 2 emphasizes data exchanges among partners as well as making data readily available and more usable for communities of interest and the public.


The National Environmental Information Exchange Network (EN) is an inter-governmental partnership to foster better environmental management and decision-making through increased access to timely and high quality environmental information.

The EN, launched in 2002, uses a standards-based approach to facilitate environmental data sharing among EPA, states, tribes and territories.

This framework allows organizations to exchange and share data over the Internet regardless of the specific information technology used.

The EN is the foundation for the E-Enterprise Initiative, also a joint state, tribal, territory and EPA partnership, launched in 2013.

Its goals include expanding access to environmental data, personalizing the access experience through customized portals and re-engineering and streamlining regulatory information collection and reporting processes to achieve burden reduction and cost avoidance.

Phase 1 of EN implementation focused on transforming the regulatory reporting processes of eight national data flows, by moving them from out-of-date reporting methods to standardized electronic reporting approaches based on EN data standards and technology.

Phase 2, which was initiated in 2013, focuses on providing the data management and technology approaches needed by EPA and its co-regulators to collaboratively modernize and improve the implementation of environmental programs.

This includes creating and using shared services, data publishing and EPA outbound services to increase access to EPA data, innovative collection, monitoring and analytical methods, and electronic reporting to states by the regulated community.

The Exchange Network Grant Program provides funding for projects that develop the Network and enable timely, on-demand access to environmental data through innovative technologies, improved support systems, and expanded collaboration using shared tools and services EPA encourages applicants to propose projects that align with the principles of E-Enterprise for the Environment.

Funding Priority ? Fiscal Year 2017: EPA expects projects supported by an Exchange Network (EN) assistance agreement will improve the accessibility and usability of high-quality environmental data from public and private sector sources.

In FY 2017, the Exchange Network Grant Program continues to focus on implementing Phase 2 of the EN.

Phase 2 development efforts, especially those related to the development of reusable and discoverable (or reuse of existing) tools and applications that deliver automated access to environmental data, such as: Desktop, laptop and tablet/smartphone applications that provide access to and analyze/display environmental data; Websites that provide users access to data sets and a range of analytical and display tools; and Dashboards that provide real time program status information to senior program managers and executives.

Applicants should consider opportunities to share data across programs within their organization, across agencies within a state or tribe, or with EPA.

EPA is especially interested in applications/websites that support cross-program data integration and support more efficient environmental business processes such as permit writing, compliance inspections, cross-jurisdictional data comparisons analyses or integration.

Applicants should also consider opportunities to build applications/websites that support EPA's open data and transparency goals and that serve interested non-governmental organizations, research institutions, other communities of interest and the public.

There are five proposed program priorities for the FY 2018 EPA Exchange Network Grant Program: 1. Integrate foundational EN services into environmental business processes.

2. Increase the number of co-regulator data flows involved in e-reporting.

3. Expand data access and availability.

4. Improve environmental management business processes through advanced data monitoring and transmittal processes.

5. Augment the data and technology management capacity of potential EN partners.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: The Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, Environmental Department proposes to solicit and introduce additional organizations to the data consortium; configure the publishing of data using the virtual node; improve data quality through standardization and thresholds validation; support sharing of data via Representational State Transfer web services; enhance Ambient Water Quality Monitoring System (AWQMS) Geographic Information System capabilities and implement web services based on open geospatial standards; consume Water Quality Exchange (WQX) XML files in AWQMS; provide Consortium of Oklahoma AWQMS Tribes members better support for groundwater and drinking water data; share open dumps data via the Exchange Network; consume Water Quality Portal or other Environmental Protection Agency web services and integrate into AWQMS data analysis tools. The University of California, Davis proposes to implement virtual node to improve the ease with which tribes and state agencies can retrieve water-sustainability data; improve purpose-driven retrieval and interpretation of water sustainability information; and increase the likelihood of sustainable decision-making, by water users, at individual to state scales. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposes to build web services, shareable with direct entry/java environment Exchange Network (EN) partners, using two or more Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo), Federal Web Services, and develop web services and a Java OpenNode2 plug-in reusable by EN partners to automatically provide facilities' stack test, emissions, and compliance data to United States Environmental Protection Agency's Compliance Enforcement Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI).

Fiscal Year 2017: The Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council?s (NIPC) Water Quality, Assessments, and Continuous Data Sharing Project will result in improved exchange of, and access to, water quality data between tribes and the EPA.

The project will focus on enhancing data quality assurance procedures, data analysis, and reporting capabilities of the NIPC hosted water quality exchange (WQX) compatible database to meet requirements of the EPA National Strategic Plan and tribe-specific reporting needs.

The Washington State Department of Health proposes to establish a ?Community of Interest? for radon data flows, and coordinate radon data flow to an Exchange Network (EN) node or virtual network from partner states in order to increase the flow of radon data through EN.

Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available


Agency - Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

See Regional Agency Offices.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Northern Arizona University $ 300,000   2020-12-012025-11-30
Environmental Protection, Florida Department Of $ 200,000   2021-10-012024-09-30
Environmental Quality, Virginia Department Of $ 196,500   2021-10-012024-09-30
Environmental Quality, Arkansas Division Of $ 200,000   2021-10-012024-09-30
Public Health And Environment, Colorado Department Of $ 197,570   2021-10-012024-09-30
Gila River Indian Community $ 199,399   2021-10-012024-09-30
Environmental Quality, Utah Department Of $ 177,000   2021-10-012024-09-30
Washoe, County Of $ 200,000   2021-10-012024-09-30
Environmental Quality, Arizona Dept Of $ 200,000   2021-10-012024-09-30
Health, Hawaii Department Of $ 200,000   2021-10-012024-09-30



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: FY 2016 is the fifteenth-year EPA will award Exchange Network grants. From FY 2002 through FY 2015, EPA has provided approximately $200 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of May 2014, all 50 states, 75 tribes and 5 territories have received Exchange Network grants. All states, nearly 150 tribes and several territories are using the EN to report data to EPA. Fiscal Year 2017: FY 2017 is the sixteenth-year EPA will award Exchange Network grants. From FY 2002 through FY 2016, EPA has provided approximately $210 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of May 2016, all 50 states, 75 tribes and 5 territories have received Exchange Network grants. All states, nearly 150 tribes and several territories are using the EN to report data to EPA. Fiscal Year 2018: NA.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Applicants may propose Exchange Network (EN) project funding for costs associated with personnel salaries and fringe benefits, Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreements (IPAs) travel, travel related to EN activities, equipment, supplies, contractual costs, in-kind services provided by EPA, and indirect costs.

Applicants may not use EN funding for the following functions (see Appendix L for definitions): Construction costs; ? Operations and Maintenance including previously developed and implemented EN projects; ? Workshops and Conferences that are not initiated, advertised, and conducted for the benefit of the recipient and other state, tribal, territorial, or local representatives or public participants or are conducted primarily for EPA's benefit; ? Pre-Award Costs not previously requested to cover pre-award costs incurred 90 days or less before the award date; and ? Management Fees in excess of the direct costs and indirect costs at the rate approved by the applicant's cognizant audit agency, or at the rate provided for by the terms of the agreement negotiated with EPA.

Generally this program makes Federal awards on a discretionary basis.

For further information, please contact the Headquarters or regional office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants for the Exchange Network (EN) Grant Program include states, the District of Columbia, U.S.

territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.

Virgin Islands), federally recognized Indian tribes, and intertribal consortia of federally recognized tribes.

An intertribal consortium is eligible to apply for assistance from the EN Grant Program by meeting the following criteria: a) the majority of the consortium members are federally recognized Indian tribes; b) all consortium federally recognized tribal members have authorized the consortium to apply for and receive assistance (if awarded) from the EN Grant Program; and c) the intertribal consortium has adequate accounting controls to manage awarded funds while ensuring that only federally recognized tribal members will benefit directly from the award.

Regional air pollution control districts may apply for assistance if they are legally considered to be agencies or instrumentalities of the state under applicable state laws.

Recipients of four or more active EN Grants are not eligible to apply for FY 2016 grants.

An active grant is any grant where the final technical report has not yet been approved by EPA.

The following entities are not eligible to apply for funding from the competitive EN Grant Program funded through the STAG appropriation: state/territorial/tribal universities; city, town, county, or regional governments; nonprofit organizations, including organizations that represent the interests of co-regulators/co-implementers in executing environmental programs.

For certain competitive funding opportunities under this CFDA description, the Agency may limit eligibility to compete to a number or subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's Assistance Agreement Competition Policy.

In addition to issuing competitive awards to states/territories/tribes and intertribal consortia, EPA may use a portion of the EN Grant Program STAG funds to issue one or more non-competitive awards for associated program support to a co-regulator/co-implementer organization.

A co-regulator/co-implementer organization is one that represents the interests of governmental units (for example, state or regional governments) in executing a national or regional environmental program.

The membership of such a national or regional organization is composed of officials of the co-regulator or co-implementer entities (for example, state environmental commissioners).

EPA will also issue a competitive award funded through EPA's EPM account to an organization that is broadly representative of federally recognized Indian tribes with the goal of expanding tribal participation in the EN.

EPA makes this competitive award once every five years.

The Agency will next award it in 2019.

Eligible Applicants :( Select all that apply) Select the eligible applicants and enter additional information on applicant eligibility into the text box below. U.S.

Territories and possessions State Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Federal, state, territory, city, town, county, and regional governments; federally recognized Indian tribes and intertribal consortia of federally recognized tribes; public institutions and industries subject to EPA regulatory reporting requirements; and the public.

Credentials/Documentation

Costs will be determined in accordance with 2 CFR 200 Subpart E. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Regarding pre-application/pre-proposal assistance with respect to competitive funding opportunities under this program description, EPA will generally specify the nature of the pre-application/pre-proposal assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the competitive announcement.

For additional information, contact the individual(s) listed as 'Information Contacts' or see Appendix IV of the Catalog.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants, except in limited circumstances approved by the Agency, must submit all initial applications for funding through http://www.grants.gov. The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by 2 CFR 200, 'Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principals, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards' must be used for this program. Required forms in PDF format can be obtained at http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/application.htm. Please see the solicitation notice for complete application instructions.

Award Procedures

For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals, and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the competitive announcement. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements. EPA will evaluate the project proposal based on the evaluation criteria in the 2016 Solicitation Notice. Please note that in evaluating applicants under this criteria, the Agency will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources including agency files and prior/current grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information supplied by the applicant). In making the final funding decisions from among the most highly scored proposals, the EPA selection official may also consider one or more of the following factors: A. EPA programs' ability and/or readiness to support proposed project activities; B. geographic distribution of funding; C. prioritization of data exchange and priority activities over other assistance activities; D. ensuring participation in the EN by federally recognized Indian tribes and inter-tribal consortia; and E. EPA's capacity to provide any requested in-kind services. EPA will evaluate the project proposal based the evaluation criteria in section V-A of the 2015 Solicitation Notice. Please note that in evaluating applicants under this criteria, the Agency will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources including agency files and prior/current grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information supplied by the applicant). In making the final funding decisions from among the most highly scored proposals, the EPA selection official may also consider one or more of the following factors: A. EPA programs' ability and/or readiness to support proposed project activities; B. geographic distribution of funding; C. prioritization of data exchange and priority activities over other assistance activities; D. ensuring participation in the EN by federally recognized Indian tribes and inter-tribal consortia; and E. EPA's capacity to provide any requested in-kind services.

Deadlines

Nov 15, 2013: Applications for the FY 2014 Exchange Network Grant must be postmarked on or before November 15, 2013, or received electronically at or before 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on November 15, 2013. Applications for the FY 2017 Exchange Network Grant Program must be or must have been submitted electronically via grants.gov (or by an alternative method for those applicants with an approved waiver) no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, November 18, 2016.

Authorization

Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20; National Environmental Policy Act, Section 102(2)(F); Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203; Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3); Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, Section 104; Clean Air Act, Section 103; Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10; EPA?s Annual Appropriation Acts.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applicants whose applications are denied for funding will be notified approximately five months after the application deadline. Applicants whose applications are recommended for funding will be notified, initially to request additional documentation to finalize the application, and, later, when the assistance agreements are issued and mailed by EPA's Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, which is expected to be approximately eight to nine months after the application deadline.

Appeals

Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting the individual(s) listed as 'information Contacts.' Disputes relating to matters other than the competitive selection of recipients will be resolved under 2 CFR 1500 Subpart E, as applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

EPA plans to issue awards for applications that are recommended for funding approximately seven months after the application deadline. The standard period of performance for projects funded by the EN Grant Program is two years. EPA may consider requests from award recipients for project/budget period extensions; and if deemed appropriate by EPA, the Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division may issue amendments extending the project/budget periods. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Assistance will be provided through grants and cooperative agreements. EPA may provide support in the form of direct funding and/or in-kind assistance, in lieu of direct funding.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Award recipients must submit semi-annual progress reports and a final project report that covers the entire project period.

The semi-annual progress reports must be submitted within one month of the end of each semi-annual reporting period.

The reporting periods are from October through March and April through September of each fiscal year.

Award recipients must submit the final project report and a final Financial Status Report (Standard Form 269) to EPA within 90 days after the end of the project/budget period.

Program reports are required.

Cash reports are required.

Progress reports are required.

Expenditure reports are required.

Performance monitoring is required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff, or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year.

Records

Financial records, including all accounting records that substantiate the charges to each grant, must be maintained and accessible to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. If certain financial records are part of an audit investigation, then they must be retained until the matter under investigation has been completely resolved. Award recipients must retain complete records documenting their projects for a period of seven years after the close-out of the agreement. Such records include, but are not limited to, financial records, technical reports, periodic performance progress reports, project management files, correspondence with other project partners, and correspondence with EPA. Final products and deliverables that result from the project are considered to be permanent records and should be retained indefinitely. .

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0108-0-1-304; 68-0103-0-1-304.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 16 $10,020,000; FY 17 est $9,551,000; and FY 18 est $6,160,000 - Fiscal Year 2016: $9,860,000 (STAG) Fiscal Year 2017: $9,391,000, FY 2018 estimate $6,000,000 (STAG) EPM Account: FY 2015 $160,000; FY 2016 $160,000 and FY 2017 $160,000, FY 2018 estimate $160,000. EPA will set aside approximately ten percent of appropriated funding for tribal assistance agreements to further facilitate expanded tribal participation in the EN.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Grants are awarded on a single year basis with the average grant award being $50,000/fiscal year.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The Exchange Network Grant Program assistance agreements issued to state, territorial, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations (i.e., co-regulator/co-implementer organizations) for associated program support for the EN Grant Program or other EN activities governed by OMB's regulations at 2 CFR 200 and EPA's supplemental regulations at 2 CFR 1500.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Wendt Blake-Coleman Wendy Blake- Coleman, Information Exchange Partnership Branch, Office of Information Collection, Office of Environmental Information, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Mail Code (2823-T), Washington, District of Columbia 20460 Email: Blake-Coleman.Wendy@epa.gov Phone: (202) 566-1709 , Washington, District of Columbia 20460 Email: blake-coleman.wendy@epa.gov Phone: (202) 566-1709.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The complete evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement. The evaluation criteria for the FY 2017 EN Grant program were described in Section V of the FY 2017 Solicitation Notice at: https://www.epa.gov/exchangenetwork/exchange-network-grant-program#SN2017 . The evaluation criteria included such factors as expected project outputs/outcomes, the feasibility and approach of the work plan, the relevance and significance of the proposed project to the EN, the adequacy of resources and key personnel, and past performance. EPA may also consider various qualitative criteria when determining which applications to recommend for funding. Examples of such qualitative criteria may include, but are not limited to, factors such as achieving a balance among projects, distributing funds among different states/territories/ tribes, and having EPA programmatic support for the project. Applications for non-competitive awards to co-regulator/co-implementer organizations, funded by the EN Grant program through EPA's STAG appropriation, will be evaluated based on the ability of the applicant to provide the following: outreach, communications, technical assistance, and other support to states/tribes that are participating in, or may wish to participate in, the Network; and support for state participation in the EN governance. Applications for competitive awards to an organization that represents federally recognized Indian tribes, funded through EPA's EPM appropriation, will be evaluated based on the applicant's ability to support tribal participation in the EN governance, provide programmatic support to tribes and intertribal consortia of federally recognized tribes that are participating in or may wish to participate in the EN.


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