Wastewater Operator Training Grant Program (Technical Assistance)

To substantially enhance the proficiency of personnel engaged in the operations and maintenance of treatment works and related activities by financing pilot programs.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year(FY) 2008: No funds were appropriated in FY 2008.

Available FY 2007 grant funds will primarily
be used for on-site technical assistance to address the unique performance limiting conditions of the plants.

Classroom training may also be provided, on a limited basis when cost effective, to improve the skills of wastewater treatment plant operator.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2009: Grant funds, if available, will primarily be used for on-site technical assistance to address the unique performance limiting conditions of the plants.

Classroom training may also be provided, on a limited basis when cost effective, to improve the skills of wastewater treatment plant operator.
Examples of Funded Projects

Examples of funded projects include: diagnostic and energy/water use evaluations at small POTWs; POTW-State technical assistance plans, agreements, and schedules for achieving improvements; technical assistance to communities on plant operations, maintenance, laboratory management, solids handling and disposal, facility management, financial management, pollution prevention, energy saving, and water use; follow-up visits to monitor improvements; and on-site performance summaries.


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 EPA Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or online for additional information.


Program Accomplishments

Approximately 46 states and state environmental training centers receive grants to provide on-site technical assistance to needy small POTWs (capacity less that 5 MGD) to assist them in achieving or maintaining compliance, or improving plant performance. There are over 15,000 POTWs in the nation of which about 14,000 have capacity less than 5 MGD. In 2007, with a funding level of $1.182 million, 586 small wastewater treatment facilities received technical assistance which resulted in the prevention of more than four million pounds of pollutants from entering into the nation's surface waters. Results for 2008 are not currently available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Assistance is available to support recipients' allowable direct costs incidental to approved scopes of work plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State agencies or the designated organizations of the States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Marianas, America Samoa, the Trust Territories, and Native American Indian Tribes.

Additionally, institutions of higher education and "not for profit institutions" may also apply for funding if acting as a designated organization of the State.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State, Tribal, and local governments and publicly owned treatment works. Activities which contribute to Operation and Maintenance (O&M) improvements at publicly owned treatment works, including pollution prevention activities, may be funded. Legislative history supports using appropriations for onsite O&M technical assistance to the small sized publicly owned treatment work (POTWs) of less than 5 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater flow, since many of these POTWs are exhibiting performance problems and do not have readily available consultant's technical assistance like those of the larger POTWs.

Credentials/Documentation

Costs will be determined in accordance with applicable OMB Circular No. A-87, Cost Principles for State and local governments. Non-profit applicants may be asked to provide documentation that they meet the definition of a non-profit organization in OMB Circular A-122. Tribes may be asked to demonstrate that they are Federally recognized.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard EPA application assistance forms must be used 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

This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-102 Uniform Administration Requirements for Grant-in-Aid to State and Local Government. Request for application forms and completed applications must be submitted to the applicable Regional or Headquarters Grants Administration office. Applications must meet the requirements of the grant regulations and must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Regional or Headquarters' waste management program office prior to approval by the Grants office. The review must include an administrative and technical evaluation to determine adequacy, merit, and relevance of the proposal. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.

Award Procedures

An application is reviewed by the appropriate EPA Regional Office and, if approved, is signed by the Regional Administrator or designated Division Director.

Deadlines

Historically, annual fiscal year funds have been appropriated by Congress, and are generally available in January to the Headquarters wastewater management program office so that the program office can fund applicants before the end of the fiscal year. Applicants should ensure that its application and reviews meet this funding deadline. Contact the appropriate Regional Office for application deadlines.

Authorization

Federal Water Pollution Control Act, Section 104(g)(1), as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Generally, 90 days after the grant application is received by EPA.

Appeals

Disputes will be resolved under 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable.

Renewals

None.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Generally 25 percent in kind service/goods or matching funds is required; however, this provision may be waived in certain cases.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants may be awarded for a project period not to exceed 3 years. The term of the grant shall be determined at the time of grant award.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Quarterly progress and final reports, annual expenditure reports, and other reports as specified by the Assistance Agreement must be provided to the appropriate Regional or Headquarters wastewater management program office.

Headquarters receives semi-annual status reports, and an annual data submission of the program's progress for the current fiscal year, from all Regional Offices.

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 Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal 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. 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 OMB Circular No. A-133.

Records

Financial records and other records which substantiate the reasonable and allocable charges must be available to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. All records must be maintained for three years from the date of submission of the annual financial status reports. If questions arise, related records must be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

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

Obigations

FY 07 $1828,100; FY 08 $0; and FY 09 est. $0.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

A State receives approximately $30,000/fiscal year to provide funds to onsite technical assistance providers. The range and average of financial assistance provided is: $12,000 to $40,000/fiscal year; $25,000/fiscal year.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Applicants for technical assistance should review 40 CFR Part 30, the General Grant Regulations and Procedures, and the annual guidance produced by the Headquarters wastewater program office.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See EPA Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or online for additional information.

Headquarters Office

Kellie Kubena, Acting Branch Chief, Municipal Assistance Branch (4204-M), Office of Wastewater Management, EPA East, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 566-0448; Fax: (202) 501-2396; E-mail: kubena.kellie@epa.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

On-site wastewater O&M technical applications managed by the Regions are evaluated based on the Headquarters wastewater program office's annual guidance, as well as EPA's grants management-related guidance. Other pilot program proposals, with similar objectives, will be considered by the Regional and Headquarters wastewater program offices based on the merits of the proposal, and prior designation by the applicable State agency(s) to receive these funds. Project objectives and requirements for applicants for other pilot project funding will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.



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