Applied Science Program Cooperative Agreements Related to Coal Mining and Reclamation

To support of two efforts: (1) develop and demonstrate improved technologies to address public safety and environmental issues related to the mining of coal and reclamation of the lands affected after mining; and (2) encourage efforts to collect, preserve and convert into digital format, maps of underground
mines that provide valuable information regarding protection of public and miner safety, mine pool evaluation, and mine subsidence investigation for previously mined areas.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog.


Program Accomplishments

It is anticipated that Applied Science Projects will result in improved technologies to address environmental issues related to the mining of coal and reclamation of the land after mining, and for regulatory processes that ensure compliance with the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. It is anticipated that Mine Map Projects will result in increased protection of public and Miner safety, environmental quality and property from adverse effects of underground mines through the cooperative efforts between OSM and various state agencies and through increased preservation and public access to mine map resources.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Projects must focus on issues related to mining in the United States and its territories.

Funding will be limited to projects that can be completed without additional funding from the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) beyond those funds awarded in the current fiscal year.

Applicants may request funding not to exceed an amount established each year prior to the solicitation for proposals.

OSM encourages cost-sharing through an advantaged score in the rating process, but cost-share is not required for the applicant to supply a proposal.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applied Science Projects: Recipients may be any public, private, nonprofit, state, local or Tribal governments, colleges, and universities located in the USA.

Mine Mapping: Recipients may be any state or Indian Tribal agency or U.S.

Territory.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Communities impacted by coal mining and reclamation of the land after mining.

Credentials/Documentation

Applied Science Projects: All proposals must either be initiated by or include a letter of endorsement, (on official letterhead) from an appropriately authorized management official representing a State, Indian, or Federal Title IV or V Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) Mining Regulatory or Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Authority. Mine Map Projects: Proposals must be from an official State or Tribal agency or U.S. territory within whose borders underground mining has occurred.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

A preapplication proposal is required to be considered for this program.

OSM will announce the opportunity for interested parties to submit preapplication proposals in Grants.gov/, and/or on other Federal government websites generally viewed by the public to access such solicitations, and through direct mailings or email to organizations that have shown a past interest in SMCRA related activities.

Specific details of the items to be addressed in the pre-application proposal may also be itemized on an OSM web site.

The application process consists of two parts, a preapplication proposal with is used in the project review and selection process, and a formal application that will be submitted only by those organizations whose projects are selected for further consideration.

The specifics of the project solicitation, review and selection process are itemized below for Applied Science Projects and for Mine Map Projects.

Applied Science Projects: Following is a description and approximate timeline for Applied Science Projects: (1) On an annual basis, OSM announces the solicitation of preapplication proposals for eligible projects during the first quarter of each fiscal year that funding is available for the Applied Science Program.

(2) OSM allows at least 60 days for interested parties to submit preapplication proposals.

(3) Approximately 60 days after the last date to submit proposals, OSM staff and appropriate regional and national technology team members complete initial reviews of preapplication proposals and forward rankings to the National Technology Team Leader (all reviewers are required to sign confidentiality agreements assuring protection of information contained in pre-applications and fairness of the selection process).

(4) Approximately 30 days later the National Technology Transfer Team reaches consensus on final ranking of preapplication proposals and submits a final recommendation of pre-application proposals for funding to be submitted to the OSM Core Leadership Team.

5) Within 30 days of receipt from the National Technology Team Leader, the OSM Core Leadership Team may make a final decision of which preapplication proposals to fund (pending receipt by OSM of a complete formal cooperative agreement application within the allowed timeframe).

Mine Mapping Projects: (1) On an annual basis, OSM announces the solicitation of preapplication proposals for eligible projects during the first quarter of each fiscal year that funding is available.

In addition, OSM notifies the individuals responsible for SMCRA Title IV and Title V programs, and the state geologist for each state where coal mining has occurred.

(2) OSM allows approximately 60 days for interested parties to submit preapplication proposals.

(3) Approximately 60 days after the last date to submit proposals, members of the Underground Mine Map UGMM) Steering Committee excluding OSM members, plus one representative from each OSM region, one representative from OSM headquarters, and one representative from the Mine Map Repository, will review and rank all of the proposals; (4) Approximately 30 days later, the UGMM Steering Committee Review Team reaches consensus on final ranking of preapplication proposals and submits a recommendation for funding to the OSM Core Leadership Team; (5) Within 30 days of receipt from the Team Leader, the OSM Core Leadership Team may make a final decision of which preapplication proposals to fund (pending receipt by OSM of a complete formal cooperative agreement application within the allowed timeframe).

THis program is excluded from coverage under E.O.12372.

Application Procedures

Within 7 days of the decision by the Core Leadership Team of which preapplications to support, OSM notifies successful preapplicants to submit formal applications. Application materials consist of a cover letter with SF-424 Form, OSM-51 Form, and OSM-47 Form. By June 15, each year, OSM begins approving cooperative agreements and awarding funds.

Award Procedures

Following the review of the pre-application stage, the formal applications are reviewed by the OSM Core Leadership Team. Approval of cooperative agreements is made by the OSM Director or designee.

Deadlines

The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is during the second quarter of each fiscal year. Please contact program office for application deadline.

Authorization

Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), Public Law 95-87; Public Law 95-224.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Estimated from 60 to 120 days.

Appeals

Not applicable.

Renewals

Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula and no mandatory cost-share or matching requirements. However, OSM recommends that applicants participate in the support of the Project in the following manner: Applied Science Projects: OSM recommends a minimum cost-share of 25 percent with the applicant providing some portion of this percentage. The remainder may come from academia, industry, or other non-federal sources. Mine Map Projects: OSM encourages cost-sharing through an advantaged score in the rating process, but cost-share is not required for the applicant to supply a proposal. Cost-share can be comprised at any percentage from the following: applicant, academia, industry, or other nonfederal sources.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The cooperative agreements have a performance period of 1 year.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Financial and programmatic reports are required no more than quarterly.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 1, 2003) or more a year in Federal awards will have a single or a program specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after Dec.1, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

Records will be maintained in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12, Subparts C and F.

Financial Information

Account Identification

14-5015-0-1-302; 14-1801-0-1-302.

Obigations

FY 07 $1,200,000; FY 08 $1,400,000; and FY 09 est $1,400,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Applied Science Project Awards will not to exceed $100,000. Mine Map Projects have no Limit other than the annual appropriation to this program.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, Public Law 95-87; Grants Common Rule at 43 CFR Part 12.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Department of the Interior, 1951 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20240. Contact: Chief, Division of Reclamation Support. Telephone: (202) 208-2788. Use the same number for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Applied Science Projects: In order for a preapplication proposal to be considered, it must include the following: Electronic submission must be received on or before the due date. The proposal must follow the application instructions. Instructions for providing the 1st round ranking of projects is as follows: (1) Individual reviewers rank the proposals such that the best proposal receives the highest rank. When the scores are averaged this will give the best proposals the highest numerical value. (Every reviewer must fill out a non-disclosure agreement in order to access the proposal website.) (2) Regional Team Ranking: Each regional team AR, WR, and MCR will allow each state/Tribe team member to provide one ranking of proposals. Each state may have more than one person involved in the ranking in order to get the appropriate technical expertise. (3) Each technology transfer member must provide their ranking to the National Technology Team Leader by a specified date each year. (4) National Technology Transfer Team scoring Each National Team member needs to score all projects based upon the following criteria: (a) Does the proposal address a topic of special interest to OSM as identified in the annual solicitation of proposals; (b) What is the level of external financial support; (c) What is the technology transfer potential; (d) What is the technical merit; (e) What is the overall proposal quality, innovation, and viability; Project score spreadsheets should be sent to the National Technology Team Leader by a specified date each year (see Application Process above for 2007 dates). The national technology transfer team is composed of members from OSM and from States that administer coal mining activities. The members from OSM represent Headquarters, the National Technical Training Program (NTTP), Technical Innovation and Professional Services (TIPS) program, and the three OSM Regions (Appalachian, Mid-Continent, and Western). The States are represented by the Interstate Mining Compact Commission and the Western Interstate Energy Board. Each regional team is composed of one representative from the OSM region and one from each of the State regulatory authorities within that region. Mine Map: After all proposals are received, the first review will be conducted as follows: (1) members of the Underground Mine Map Steering Committee excluding OSM members, one representative from each OSM region, one representative from OSM headquarters, and one representative from the Mine Map Repository, will review and rank all of the proposals. The voting members must rank each proposal in ascending order. The summation of each voting member's score for each proposal will be used to compute the overall ranking. The proposal/severable piece with the lowest score will have the highest priority for funding. Likewise the proposal/severable piece with the highest score will have the least priority for funding. If there is a proposal that a member feels should not be considered, the rank should be filled in with a score of 40 rather than the concurrent ascending numerical value. (2) the highest ranked proposals will then be submitted to the OSM Core Leadership Team for decisions concerning final approval of proposed projects.



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