Puget Sound Action Agenda: Technical Investigations and Implementation Assistance Program

Puget Sound has been designated as an estuary of National Significance under section 320 of the Clean Water Act.

The goal of all 28 National Estuary Programs is to attain and maintain water quality in designated estuaries that would assure protection of public water supplies and the protection
and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish and wildlife that allows for recreational activities in and on the water.



The goal of the Puget Sound National Estuary Program approved Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) (the 2020 Action Agenda) is to restore and maintain the Puget Sound Estuary"s estuarine environment, by 2020, so that it will support balanced indigenous populations of shellfish, fish and wildlife and support the extensive list of recognized uses of Puget Sound.



In both the FFY 2009 and FFY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Acts, Puget Sound restoration funds are provided to develop and implement programs in the Puget Sound basin that will help meet the Clean Water Act goal of protecting and maintaining the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the basin"s waters and to help minimize the adverse impacts of future development and population growth.

These programs are likely to address a broad scope of threats and resource protection issues, including activities linked to nonpoint source pollution, habitat, and watershed restoration and protection work.

By 2011, EPA Region 10, working with its key state, tribal and local partners, have committed to attaining the following environmental outcomes for the Puget Sound Basin:

" 1,000 acres of shellfish bed growing areas, currently impacted by degraded or declining water quality, show improved water quality and corresponding lifting of harvest restrictions;

" 200 acres of prioritized contaminated sediments are remediated and upstream source controls are put in place;

" 3,500 acres of tidally or seasonally influenced estuarine wetlands are restored and protected;

In addition, by 2011, we are committed to protecting and improving water quality and minimizing the adverse impacts of rapid development in the Puget Sound Basin.

These commitments include protecting the watersheds and waters of Puget Sound by protecting the fundamental watershed processes that provide and create aquatic habitats and by reducing the generation and release of toxic, nutrient and pathogen pollution.

This program has the following main objectives:

First, a central component of the approved CCMP for Puget Sound is its Biennial Science Workplan which identifies some of the core scientific work that must be completed in order for the Puget Sound Management Conference"s implementation efforts, to succeed in the recovery and protection of the Sound.

A primary objective of this program is to support the technical studies and investigations that are needed to help direct implementation priorities.



Second, by 2012, EPA and the Puget Sound Partnership will need to propose new five year strategic plan outcomes and targets for Puget Sound.

The Scientific Studies and Technical Investigations sought through this program will help support identification of specific environmental outcomes and also the development of tracking and evaluation approaches for implementation activities, so that together they will contribute significantly to the restoration and protection of Puget Sound by 2020.



Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2010: The key funding priority for FFY 2010 is to assist in the completion of near term science projects and technical investigations that are either identified in the Biennial Science Work Plan or are identified as necessary to support the attainment of specific environmental outcomes identified by the 2020 Action Agenda for Puget Sound and its associated work programs and implementing agreements.

Additionally, a second priority will be to follow up on work initiated in FFY 2008 and 2009 to assist with the development and completion of scientific studies and technical investigations necessary for implementing the Action Agenda and achieving targeted environmental outcomes.

A third priority in 2010 will be to provide financial assistance to support the state of Washington"s efforts to help implement, manage and monitor progress of the 2020 Action Agenda for Puget Sound (the CCMP).

Dependent on the availability of sufficient funds, this program would offer additional assistance for implementation of the priority actions and programs identified in the 2020 Action Agenda for Puget Sound.

The Region is planning to issue several competitive requests for proposals late in FFY 2010 that address needs within this last priority including one focused on managing the implementation of the Action Agenda, one focused on watershed protection and restoration, one focused on ecosystem restoration and protection, one focused on toxics and nutrients reduction control, one focused on pathogens and one focused on nearshore and shoreline protection and restoration.

Finally, as directed by the appropriations language, the EPA expects to make an award of $4,000,000 in FFY 2010 to the University of Washington for a Puget Sound Ecosystem Research Initiative.

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.

Daniel I.

Steinborn, Puget Sound Financial Assistance Project Officer
Ecosystems and Community Health Unit
Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ETPA-086
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 553-2728 or 1-800-424-4EPA, extension 3-2728
E-Mail: steinborn.daniel@epa.gov.


Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Puget Sound restoration funds were appropriated by Congress in conjunction with the Clean Water Act for development and implementation of programs that will improve water quality, air quality, and minimize the adverse impacts of rapid development in the Puget Sound Basin, including activities linked to nonpoint sources or habitat restoration projects.

The assistance offered can be used to finance scientific work identified in the Puget Sound Partnership"s Biennial Science Work Plan or otherwise needed to effectively implement the Puget Sound Action Agenda.

Assistance may be used to finance technical studies and investigations necessary to achieve environmental outputs and/or outcomes identified in the Action Agenda or by either the Puget Sound Partnership or other agencies within the Management Conference with implementation or tracking responsibilities.

Assistance may also be used to manage, monitor, oversee, or participate in the implementation of the 2020 Action Agenda for Puget Sound, including Tribal participation in the implementation and maintenance processes of the CCMP.

Such assistance may also include managing and overseeing the implementation of the Agenda"s Science Work Plan and any technical studies or investigations undertaken in support of implementation and/or further development of the Action Agenda.



Finally, if requested, the assistance may be used to finance general implementation of the 2020 Action Agenda for Puget Sound.

This implementation work could either be funded directly or through a lead implementation entity which could then funds secondary implementation awards and manages progress and outcomes for a particular management issue or geographic area.

Additional information on use restrictions, if any, for this program, will be provided in each request for proposals published on the EPA Region 10 website.

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.



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.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federal government agencies and Washington state government agencies are eligible to apply under this program.

Public and private institutions of higher education located in the United States are eligible to apply under this program.

Units of local government organized under Washington state law and located within the Greater Puget Sound basin are eligible to apply.

Also eligible to apply are special purpose districts, as defined by Washington State law at R.C.W.

36.93.020, including but not limited to, irrigation districts, and water and sewer districts that are located in or govern land and water resources within the greater Puget Sound basin.

Conservation districts located in or governing land and water resources within the greater Puget Sound Basin are also eligible to apply for assistance under this program.

Watershed planning units formed under RCW 90.82.040 and RCW 90.82.060, local management boards organized under RCW 90.88.030, salmon recovery lead entities organized pursuant to RCW 77.85.050, regional fisheries enhancement groups organized pursuant to RCW 77.95.060 and Marine Resource Committees organized pursuant to RCW 36.125.010 and RCW 36.125.020 are eligible to apply if they are located within or their jurisdictions include waters and/or lands with the Greater Puget Sound basin.

-Intrastate organizations such as associations of cities, counties or conservation districts in the Greater Puget Sound basin are also eligible to apply.

Nonprofit nongovernmental entities are also eligible to apply.

Intrastate organizations such as associations of cities, counties or conservation districts in the Greater Puget Sound basin are also eligible to apply.

Federally recognized Indian Tribes located within the greater Puget Sound basin and any consortium of these eligible tribes.

An Intertribal consortium must have adequate documentation of the existence of the partnership and the authorization of the member Tribes to apply for and receive assistance.

Documentation that demonstrates the existence of the partnership of Indian Tribal governments may consist of Tribal council resolutions, Intertribal consortia resolutions in conjunction with a Tribal council resolution from each member Tribe, or other written certification from a duly authorized representative of each Tribal government that clearly demonstrates that a partnership of Indian Tribal governments exists.

Documentation that demonstrates that member Tribes authorize the consortium to apply for and receive assistance may consist of a Tribal council resolution from each Tribe or other written certification from a duly authorized representative of each Tribal government that clearly demonstrates that the Tribe authorizes the consortium to apply for and receive the grant on behalf of the Tribe.

An Intertribal consortium resolution is not adequate documentation of the member Tribes authorization of the consortium unless it includes a written certification from a duly authorized representative of each Tribal government.

The greater Puget Sound basin is defined as all watersheds draining to the U.S.

waters of Puget Sound, southern Georgia Basin, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

- For profit business entities, private individuals and families are not eligible to apply.

However, all of these types of entities could partner with an eligible applicant as a subawardee.

- 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

The direct beneficiaries would be the entities receiving the assistance. Due to the fact that the program is designed and intended to assist in the restoration and protection of the Puget Sound estuary, the ultimate beneficiaries will be the residents of the greater Puget Sound region.

Credentials/Documentation

No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

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.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. For competitive awards, applicants will be required to submit application materials as described in the Request For Proposals. The Request For Proposals will also specify the submission methods which generally include an electronic and hard copy submission option. The standard application forms as furnished by the EPA and required by OMB Circulars No. A-110 and A-102 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 Agreement Management Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Mail Code 3903R, Washington, DC 20460 or though the EPA Region 10 Grants Administration web site at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/omp.nsf/webpage/. 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

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

Authorization

Clean Water Act, Title 1, Section 104(b), Public Law 94-117, 33 U.S.C 1254(b); Clean Water Act, Title 1, Section 104, Public Law 106-457, 33 U.S.C 1254(a); Clean Water Act, Title 1, Section 104(b), Public Law 106-457, 33 U.S.C 1254(b); Clean Water Act, Title 3, Section 320(g)(3)(A)(ii, Public Law 94-117, 33 U.S.C 1330; Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, Public Law 111-8; Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, Public Law 111-88; Clean Water Act, Title 3, Section 320(g)(3)(A)(ii, Public Law 106-457, 33 U.S.C 1330; Clean Water Act, Title 1, Section 104, Public Law 94-117, 33 U.S.C 1254(a).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The Region expects that its review of the applications received in response to competitive solicitations will be completed within 120 to 150 calendar days following the deadline for the submission of applications for each Request for Proposals issued under this program.

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

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Clean Water Act §104(a) and §104(b) have no statutory formula for match; that is, no match is required by the statute. Therefore, for awards under this program to be made under these authorities, the EPA will not require any non-federal match by any successful applicant.

If awards are made for general projects that implement the CCMP or that exercise management and oversight over the implementation of the CCMP, there will be a match requirement pursuant to CWA §320.

For those projects, under CWA §320(g)(2) and §320(g)(3)(ii), there is a statutory match of 50% of the total project costs for implementation project grants under CWA §320(g)(3)(ii. CWA §320 allows for an aggregate match; that is, the match requirement for federal financial assistance for national estuary program projects applies to the estuary"s Management Conference as a whole. Thus, any spending of nonfederal funds by the Management Conference within a fiscal year can be used as match for federal financial assistance.

The EPA expects to structure the RFPs issued under this program so that applicants can identify expenditures of nonfederal funds on projects that implement the CCMP by themselves as well as by other Management Conference members as proposed nonfederal match for the financial assistance being requested.

Contact the EPA Regional Office contact identified in this program description for more information.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The assistance will be awarded during FY 2010 and FY 2011. Funds will be disbursed to individual assistance recipients in accordance with the terms specified in the assistance agreement. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Assistance will be disbursed in accordance with the terms specified in the assistance agreement. Typically, assistance recipients draw funds at either monthly or quarterly intervals based on their incurred costs.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

No program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

Progress report requirements will be a part of each assistance agreement.

A schedule of interim milestones and the outputs that will be completed by the end of the project period will also be included.

Typical progress reports will discuss the progress that has been made on each major task and on each interim milestone identified in the approved statement of work.

Progress reports will also discuss any difficulties or problems that have been encountered and how they have been or are being resolved.

Other specific reporting requirements will be defined in the assistance agreement based on the statement of work described in the application.

Expenditure reports will typically be required at the same time intervals as progress reports.

The expenditure reports will document expenditures to date in a manner that allows the report user to confirm that all assistance payments (disbursements to assistance recipients) are for costs that have been incurred in compliance with applicable costs principles and, for assistance agreements in which a matching contribution is required, the reports will also document expenditures of that matching contribution.

No performance monitoring is required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal 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 Circular No. A-133. 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 documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate charges to each grant must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained until expiration of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report. If questions still remain, such as those raised by an audit, related records shall be maintained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0108-0-1-304.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 09 $0; FY 10 est $27,000,000; FY 11 est $0 - EPA Region 10 expects to award between $4.5 million and $9.0 million in FFY 2010 funds during FFY 2010 under a closed competitive solicitation for Scientific Investigations and Technical Studies. Additionally the Region expects to award $4.0 million in FFY 2010 funds,to the University of Washington"s Puget Sound Ecosystem Research Initiative pursuant to Congressional direction in the FFY 2010 appropriation.

Finally, the Region expects to conduct additional competitive assistance solicitations during FFY 2010 under this program that will result in awards of up to approximately $27 million.

Estimated obligations for FY 2011 are not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The EPA expects to make awards for scientific and technical studies in the range of $200,000 - $700,000. Awards for implementation assistance and for managing and monitoring the implementation of the CCMP could range from $200,000 to $10,000,000 each. Some of these awards may be incrementally funded with appropriations from future fiscal years.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

For grants and cooperative agreements with State agencies, units of local government (including special purpose districts),tribal governments and intertribal organizations, assistance recipients must comply with 40 CFR Part 31 "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments", 40 CFR Part 35 "Environmental Program Grants-State, Interstate and Local Government Agencies", and OMB Circular Nos. A-87 "Cost Principles for State and Local Governments" and A-102 "Grants and Cooperative Agreements for States and Local Governments." OMB Circular A-87 has been codified as 2 CFR Part 225. EPA"s requirements under OMB Circular A-102 are codified at 40 CFR Part 31. For grants and cooperative agreements with institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations, the assistance recipient must comply with 40 CFR Part 30, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and other Non-Profit Organizations," 40 CFR Part 30 and OMB Circular No. A-110, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations." OMB Circular A-110 is codified at 2 CFR Part 215. For grants and cooperative agreements with institutions of higher education, the assistance recipient must comply with OMB Circular A-21, codified at 2 CFR 220, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions." For grants and cooperative agreements with non-profit organizations, the assistance recipient must comply with OMB Circular A-122, codified as 2 CFR Part 230, "Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations." Additionally, any awards made under Clean Water Act Section 104 authorities would be subject to the EPA regulations on Research and Demonstration grants at 40 CFR Part 40.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Daniel I. Steinborn, Puget Sound Financial Assistance Project Officer
Ecosystems and Community Health Unit
Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ETPA-086
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 553-2728 or 1-800-424-4EPA, extension 3-2728
E-Mail: steinborn.daniel@epa.gov.

Headquarters Office

Daniel I. Steinborn, Ecosystems and Community Health Unit, Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ETPA-086, Seattle, Washington 98101 Email: steinborn.daniel@epa.gov Phone: (206) 553-2728.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA program description will be published in each announcement of a competitive funding opportunity (e.g., the Request for Proposals or RFP).



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