Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program

To support analyses, studies, evaluations, surveys, investigations, conferences, demonstrations and special purpose projects which empower communities to reduce risks from exposures to toxic pollutants in the air, in the water, and on the land through collaborative action at the local level.

Funding
Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: The CARE program aims to: (1) Reduce exposures to toxic pollutants through collaborative action at the local level; (2) Help communities gain an understanding of all potential sources of exposure to toxic pollutants; (3) Work with communities to set priorities for risk reduction activities; and, (4) Create self sustaining, community based partnerships that will continue to improve the local environment.

The following program strategies will be used: (1) Provide information and a variety of tools to help communities understand and assess toxic risks; (2) Collaborate with community stakeholder groups to prioritize plans for risk reduction; (3) Mobilize local resources and utilize EPA voluntary programs to implement risk reduction activities; (4) Link EPA programs together to efficiently support communities; (5) Create a positive environment that encourages all members of the community including businesses and colleges and universities to join the collaborative partnership; (6) Facilitate networking among CARE communities to share experiences and lessons learned; and, (7) Build long term community capacity to continue improving the local environment.
Examples of Funded Projects

CARE is a unique community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities undersand and reduce risks due to toxic and environmental pollutants from all sources.

Projects funded under the CARE program include: (1) the development of an assessment of toxins and pollution sources used to educate residents about their impact on local health and the environment; (2) assisting owners of homes with lead-based paint in obtaining remediation funds and development of a neighborhood toxic education program; (3) the study of all potential local sources of toxic risk in order to develop a long-term voluntary toxics management system to reduce the generation of toxic pollutants; (4) the creation of a Community Partnership that is a multi-stakeholder group - that includes industries, communities, small business owners - to conduct a community capacity building program to identify the concerns of the communities and to discuss how to address them; and (5) a collaborative project with community agencies to address the negative environmental and public health impact that small automotive repair and body shops have on their employees and neighbors, while avoiding putting shops out of business by regulatory enforcement.


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 - EPA encourages potential applicants to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog, and the Headquarters program contacts listed below.


Program Accomplishments

The CARE program is a relatively new initiative. It uses two sets of cooperative agreements. In the smaller Level I agreements, the community, working with EPA, creates a collaborative problem solving group made up of the various stakeholders in the community. That group assesses the community's toxic exposure problems and begins to identify potential solutions. In the larger Level II agreements, the community, working with EPA selects and funds projects that reduce risk and improve the environment in the community. In FY07 we received 30 applications and funded 22 projects, including two of the FY 05 Level I projects who successfully completed their project and competed for and received a Level II grant. CARE communities have implemented a variety of EPA Partnership Programs and reduced citizen's exposure to toxics including lead, diesel emissions, mercury and environmental tobacco smoke. The communities have also reduced emissions of green house gases.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Cooperative Agreements are available to support recipients' allowable direct costs incident to approved surveys, analyses, studies, evaluations,conferences, investigations, demonstrations and special purpose projects plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

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: http://geodata.epa.gov.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Local, Public non-profit institution/organizations, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government, Native American Organizations, Private nonprofit institution/organization, Quasi-public nonprofit institution/organization, local government, colleges, universities, interstate and intrastate.

Proposals to renew or supplement existing projects are eligible to compete.

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

Local, Public nonprofit institution/organizations, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government, Native American Organizations, Private nonprofit institution/organization, Quasi-public nonprofit institution/organization, local government, colleges, universities, interstate and intrastate.

Credentials/Documentation

Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments, and Indian Tribes, OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions, and OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit institutions. Applicants may be requested to demonstrate they have appropriate background, academic training, experience in the field, and necessary equipment to carry out projects. EPA may ask applicants or principle investigators to provide curriculum vitae and relevant publications.

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.

For competitive awards, EPA will review and evaluate applications, proposals and/or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria stated in the announcement of the competitive funding opportunity.

Competition will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Application Procedures

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 and A-110 must be used for this program. EPA requires final applications to be made on Standard Form 424. Requests for application kits must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, 3903R, Washington, DC 20460 or through the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. Additional information on the EPA grant package can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/how_to_apply.htm. Requests for Initial Proposals or Requests for Applications will specify application procedures. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.

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

For competitive awards, deadlines will be specified in Request for Applications or Request for Initial Proposals.

Authorization

Clean Air Act, Section 103(b)(3) as amended; Clean Water Act, Section 104(b)(3), as amended; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001, as amended; Toxics Substances Control Act, Section 10, as supplemented by Public Law 106-74 (1999); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Section 20 (a), as supplemented by Public Law 106-74 (1999); Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Section 203, as amended; and National Environmental Policy Act, Section 102(2)(F).

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 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.

Renewals

None. Generally, EPA incrementally funds cooperative agreements. Approval of subsequent funding increments is dependent on satisfactory project progress, continued relevance of the projects to EPA's priorities, availability of funds, and Agency policy on the cooperative agreement process.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

CERCLA 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 311(b)(3) cost sharing requirement in appropriate cases. Matching requirements may be established in program guidance or the terms of competitive solicitations. This program has no statutory formula.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

EPA normally funds cooperative agreements on a 12-month basis. However, EPA can negotiate the project period with each applicant based on project requirements and most CARE awards will be for 18 to 36 months. EPA limits project periods to 5 years. Any resulting cooperative agreement awards will normally be awarded on a quarterly basis. Applicants will be notified of an award in accordance with the information specified in any resulting solicitation.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

EPA includes reporting requirements for 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.

Specific reporting requirements are also identified in the Grant Regulations Part 30 and Part 31.

Audits

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 OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," non-federal entities that expend $500,000 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 $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.

Records

The record retention requirements of 40 CFR Part 30 (nonprofit and universities) or 40 CFR Part 31 (governmental units) are applicable depending upon the identity of the recipient. Recipients must keep financial records, including all documents supporting entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes in cooperative agreements available to personnel authorized to examine EPA recipients cooperative agreements records. Recipients must maintain all records until 3 years from the date of submission of final expenditure 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 completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0108-0-1-304, Environmental Program
Management (EPM).

Obigations

FY 07 $1,900,000; FY 08 $3,400,000; and FY 09 est $2,400,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

There is no minimum amount of assistance. Cooperative agreements awarded based on Level 1 agreements will range from $75,000 to $100,000 with an average Level 1 award of $90,000. Level II agreements will range from $150,000 to $300,00 with an average Level II award of $275,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Environmental Policy and Innovation grants and cooperative agreements are subject to EPA's General Grant Regulations (40 CFR Part 30 and 40 CFR Part 31). Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments and Indian Tribes, OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions, OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit institutions and FAR Part 31 for profit makers.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

EPA encourages potential applicants to communicate with the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog, and the Headquarters program contacts listed below.

Headquarters Office

For information on grant applications and procedures, contact: Environmental Protection Agency, Grants and Interagency Agreements Management Division, 3903R, Washington, DC 20460. For Program Information contact: Larry Weinstock, (202) 564-9226 weinstock.larry@epa.gov, Fax: (202) 564-7739.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Competitive applications and proposals will be selected in accordance with announced criteria. 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. The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement.



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