Surveys, Studies, Investigations and Special Purpose Grants within the Office of the Administrator

(1) To support surveys, studies, investigations, and special purpose assistance associated with air quality, acid deposition, drinking water, water quality, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and/or pesticides; (2) to identify, develop, and demonstrate necessary pollution control techniques; (3) to prevent,
reduce, and eliminate pollution; (4) to evaluate the economic and social consequences of alternative strategies and mechanisms for use by those in economic, social, governmental, and environmental management positions; and (5) to promote collaboration on projects and activities within the states and enable wider and more coordinated state input on national environmental issues.

In FY 2015, specific funding priorities include:

ECOS Shale Gas Caucus- the Shale Gas Caucus is led by state environmental agency commissioners, who work closely with EPA, DOE, non-profit organizations, and private-sector entities, and its purpose is to promote coordination between states on data sharing, best practices, community outreach, and lessons learned pertaining to the reduction of methane and VOC emissions from the oil and gas sector.



Sustainability - develop video and other media to promote state leadership in green infrastructure, sustainable products, purchasing and materials management.

ECOS Partnership and Performance Workgroup - projects and deliverables to support the partnership between EPA and the States regarding strategic planning, grants management, and implementation of the National Environmental Performance Partnership System.



Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2016: Under the Environmental Workforce Development and Job training Grant Application Guidelines, applicants are anticipated to be provided the opportunity to deliver training in areas such as: brownfields hazardous waste training; solid waste management and recycling; emergency management and oil spill cleanup; Superfund cleanup related training, including innovative and alternative treatment technologies, wastewater treatment and stormwater management; integrated pest management; and chemical safety and enhanced environmental health and safety training.

Other types of supplemental environmental training are also eligible as this list is not exhaustive.

Under the FY17 competition, energy auditing, solar installation, and weatherization training are anticipated to be eligible uses of grant funds.

Applicants in FY17 will also be evaluated on the extent to which they have partnered with employers willing to hire graduates and the extent to which they have conducted labor market assessments that link proposed training with employers; forecasted hiring needs.


Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2017:

EPA plans to provide support for states? work in the following areas: lean/business process improvement and modernization, rural waste management on tribal lands, sustainable materials management and the built environment, research priorities and communications, planning, compliance innovation, drinking water state revolving fund, and methane diversion from oil and natural gas facilities.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: Sustainability - Through a series of informative briefings for state environmental agency leaders, ECOS covered topics including current research, existing and emerging technologies, and regulatory initiatives.

These briefings set the stage for ECOS to develop a compendium of principles and best practices and other tools for states to use in addressing methane and VOC emissions.

ECOS Partnership and Performance Workgroup - collaborations and deliverables on NPM Guidance development, grants management initiatives, implementing the Partnerships Cross-Agency Strategy, Title VI programs, Environmental Justice tools, and the oversight of state delegated permitting programs.

Shale Gas Caucus-through a series of informative briefings for state environmental agency leaders, ECOS covered topics including current research, existing and emerging technologies, and regulatory initiatives.

These briefings set the stage for ECOS to develop a compendium of principles and best practices and other tools for states to use in addressing methane and VOC emissions.

Fiscal Year 2017: This comprehensive nationwide project covers a wide array of topics including: air & water quality, drinking water, toxics, planning & resource allocation, data management, compliance & enforcement, solid & hazardous waste, emerging contaminants, climate change, energy & energy efficiency, public & environmental health, state capacity building, alignment of state & EPA priorities, civil rights, EJ, oversight, partnership enhancement, legal relationships, performance measures, streamlining of state environmental business processes, innovations, new technologies, and pollution prevention.

Fiscal Year 2018: No content 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.
Website Address

http://www.epa.gov




Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Environmental Council Of States, Inc. $ 1,364,035   2016-01-012020-12-31
National Governors Association Center For Best Practices $ 50,000   2016-11-012017-04-30
Bronx River Alliance, Inc. $ 24,952   2012-10-012016-10-31
Environmental Council Of States, Inc. $ 1,011,934   2009-04-012016-03-31
National Governors Association Center For Best Practices $ 100,000   2015-01-012015-12-31
Sustainable South Bronx, Inc. $ 23,872   2012-09-012015-08-31
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Inc $ 25,000   2012-09-012014-11-30
St Croix Environmental Association $ 25,000   2012-10-012014-09-30
New York Harbor Foundation, Inc. $ 24,859   2012-09-012014-08-31
El Puente De Williamsburg, Inc. $ 25,000   2012-10-022013-09-30



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: As of June 21, 2016, ECOS is working on a project to increase the capacity of states to improve their business processes. To date, ECOS has drafted a compilation of states Lean activities and supported state participation at the federal level regarding state-EPA engagement on business process improvement. Fiscal Year 2017: In FY17, ECOS issued a report on state business process improvement activities from 2010-2016, facilitated 3 BPI peer-to-peer skills exchanges, supported state participation in EPA?s Lean Action Board, scoped a national BPI community of practice, engaged states on draft FY18-19 NPM Guidances, piloted a Measures project, issued a ?Field Guide to Flexibility and Results,? published a Green Report on state environmental agency budgets, supported state participation on EPA?s grants management work group, facilitated communication on EJ and Title VI priorities, supported states on the Combined Air Emissions Reporting Team, issued a call for capacity-building projects related to state clean water revolving loan funds that benefit disadvantaged communities, issued an RFP for support of an ECOS-maintained database of state oil and gas documents, researched enforcement training needs and drafted a needs assessment, facilitated communications on EAP ORD?s C-FERST tool and ORD?s Wildfire guide, synthesized and communicated states? research needs to EPA/ORD, assisted with follow-up communications on state research needs, shared information to states on research including ORD webinars and NAS work and opportunities, created a work group on sustainable materials management, held monthly calls with states and state waste associations on various SMM topics, planned a panel in coordination with ASTSWMO for the August 2017 Materials Management and Hazardous Waste Training Conference, created a work group on amended TSCA implementation, held regular calls on toxics work to share information and solicit state perspectives, and established state representatives for the Inorganics Byproduct Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. Fiscal Year 2018: No content available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants and cooperative agreements are available to support recipients' allowable direct costs incident to approved surveys, studies, investigations and special purpose assistance, plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

Funds awarded under Section 311(b)(3) of CERCLA must be used for projects relating to innovative or alternative treatment technologies that may be utilized in response actions to achieve more permanent protection of human health and welfare and the environment.

Assistance agreement awards under this program may involve or relate to geospatial information.

Further information regarding geospatial information may be obtained by viewing the following website: https://www.epa.gov/geospatial. Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving company-owned or -rented vehicles or government-owned vehicles, or while driving privately-owned vehicles when on official government business or when performing any work for or on behalf of the government.

Grant recipients and sub-recipients are encouraged to conduct initiatives of the type described in section 3(a) of the Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving Executive Order that was signed on October 1, 2009.

Generally this program makes Federal awards on a discretionary basis.

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

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Assistance under this program is generally available to State agencies, territories, the District of Columbia, Indian Tribes, and possessions of the U.S.

Assistance is also available to public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit institutions.

Nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply.

For profit organizations are generally not eligible for funding.

Some of EPA's statutes may limit assistance to specific types of interested applications.

See 'Authorization' listed above.

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.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State agencies and local governments, U.S. territories and possessions, Indian Tribes, universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public and private nonprofit institutions.

Credentials/Documentation

Documentation of nonprofit status may be required. Applicants may be requested to demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training, experience in the field, and necessary equipment to carry out projects. Office of the Administrator may ask applicants or principal investigators to provide curriculum vitae and relevant publications. 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 eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

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.

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.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442(a)&(c); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20, Public Law 106-74; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), , Section 311; Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10; National Environmental Policy Act, Section 102(2)(F); Clean Air Act, Section 103; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001; Clean Water Act, Section 104; Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 180 days.

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

None. Generally, EPA incrementally funds grants and cooperative agreements for surveys, studies, and investigations. Approval of subsequent funding increments is dependent on satisfactory project progress, continued relevance of the project to the Office of the Administrator's program priorities, and the availability of funds.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: This program has no statutory formula. In addition, CERCLA Section 311(b)(3) requires that 'to the maximum extent possible,' EPA enter into an appropriate cost-sharing arrangement with recipients of grants and cooperative agreements relating to innovative and alternative treatment technologies. EPA may waive the Section 311(b)(3) cost-sharing requirement in appropriate cases. Matching fund requirements may be established in program guidance or in the terms of competitive solicitations. This program does not have MOE requirements. Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

EPA normally funds grants and cooperative agreements on a 12-month basis. However, the Office of the Administrator can negotiate the project period with each applicant based on project requirements. EPA has limitations on project periods, and grants and cooperative agreements may be incrementally or fully funded. These determinations are made by EPA. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Assistance is generally awarded incrementally and is released on an as-needed basis.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

EPA includes reporting requirements for grants and cooperative agreements in the terms and conditions of the agreements.

Agreements may require quarterly, interim, and final progress reports, and financial, equipment, and invention reports.

Reporting requirements are also identified in EPA's grant regulations 2 CFR Parts 200 and 1500.

Program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

Progress reports are required.

No expenditure reports are required.

Performance monitoring is required under this program.

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. In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-federal entities that expend $750,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall 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.

Records

The record retention requirements of 2 CFR Part 200 and 1500 as applicable depending upon the identity of the recipient. Recipients must keep financial records, including all documents supporting entries on accounting records which support substantial changes to the grant, available to personnel authorized to examine EPA recipients' grants and cooperative agreement records. Recipient must maintain all records for a period of three (3) years from the date of submission of final expenditures reports. If questions, such as those raised as a result of audits remain following the 3-year period, recipients must retain records until the matter is fully resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-1810-0-1-304.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 16 $340,000; FY 17 est $1,024,035; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available - FY16 $340,000 FY17 Estimated Obligations: $1,024,035.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range $40,000 to $520,000 per amendment. Average amount approximately $341,000 per amendment. .

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Surveys, studies, and investigations grants and cooperative agreements are subject to EPA general grant regulations located at 2 CFR Parts 200 and 1500. Costs will be determined in accordance with 2 CFR 200 Subpart E for al entities. FAR Part 31 for 'for profit' entities.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Headquarters Office

Dan Murphy For program information contact: Dan Murphy, Office of the Administrator, Office of Congressional & Intergovernmental Relations: e-mail address: Murphy.Dan@epa.gov; Phone: (202) 564-3227., Washington, District of Columbia 20460 Email: Murphy.Dan@epa.gov Phone: 202-564-3227

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement. Non-competitive proposals are judged for: (a) technical merit in terms of: (1) strengths and weaknesses of the project, (2) adequacy of overall project design, (3) competency of proposed staff, (4) suitability of applicant's available resources, (5) appropriateness of the proposed project period and budget, and (6) probability that the project will accomplish stated objectives; and, for (b) program interest in terms of: (1) the need for the proposed project, and (2) relationship to program objectives.



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