A TAG allows a group to procure independent technical advisors to help in interpreting and commenting on site-related information and decisions.
Examples of how a technical advisor can help a group include, but are not limited to: (a) Reviewing preliminary site assessment/site investigation data; (b) Participating in public meetings to help interpret information about site conditions, proposed remedies, and the implementation of a remedy; (c) Visiting the site vicinity periodically during cleanup, if possible, to observe progress and provide technical updates to the group; (d) Interpreting information related to redevelopment; and (e) Evaluating future land use options based on land use assumptions found in the remedial investigation/feasibility study.
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.
Since the program began on March 24, 1988, 307 awards have been issued by EPA, totaling more than $25,900,000 in TAG awards (including new awards, additional funds, waivers and deviation). In most cases, EPA receives only one application for a site and in most cases an award is made. In FY 07 ten new grants were awarded ($375,000) and 12 established grantees were awarded additional funds ($552,000). As of May 1, 2008, one new grant has been awarded ($25,000) and one established grantee was awarded additional funds ($25,000) for FY 08: it is anticipated that five more new awards ($250,000) and five more existing grantees will be awarded supplemental funding ($250,000) by the end of FY 08. The grant includes an outreach component wherein the grantee helps to educate the broader community on issues related to the site cleanup. Under this grant, grantees have developed community newsletters, developed web sites, conducted community meetings to help other community members better understand technical information related to the site cleanup and to better respond to site-related technical documents during public comment periods. Technical comments provided to EPA under this grant assist EPA in meeting Superfund strategic targets of identifying and controlling unacceptable human exposures from site contamination; monitoring and controlling migration of contaminated ground water; and identifying a final remedy suitable for stated reuse (under Goal 3.2.2 of EPA's Strategic Plan).
Uses and Use Restrictions
All or most of the Federal funds must be used, at sites listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) or proposed for listing under the National Contingency Plan (NCP) where a response action has begun under CERCLA, to procure a technical advisor(s) to help in understanding the nature of the environmental and public health hazards at the site, the various stages of health and environmental investigations and activities, cleanup, and operation and maintenance of a site, including exposure investigation, health study, surveillance program, health promotion activities (for example, medical monitoring and pediatric health units), remedial investigation, and feasibility study, record of decision, remedial design, selection and construction of remedial action, operation and maintenance, and removal.
Limitations: (a) Federal funds cannot be used to develop new primary data, such as conducting independent testing and monitoring activities at a site.
(b) Under CERCLA, as amended, grant funds cannot be used for lawsuits or other legal actions, or attorney fees for services connected to any legal action or that could result in a relationship to which attorney/client privileges applies.
(c) Grant funds cannot be applied towards a technical advisor's time spent assisting an attorney in preparing a legal action or preparing and serving as an expert witness at any legal proceedings.
(d) Grant funds cannot be used for any activities or expenditures for recipient group members' travel.
(e) Grant funds cannot be used for political activity and lobbying.
(f) Grant funds cannot be used for generation of new health data through biomedical testing (for example, blood or urine testing), clinical evaluations, health studies, surveillance, registries, and/or public health investigations.
(g) Grant funds cannot be used for activities that are unallowable under the cost principles stated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No.
(h) Grant funds cannot be used for tuition or other training expenses for recipient group's members.
(i) Grant funds cannot be used to reopen or challenge final EPA decisions.
A technical assistance grant (TAG) is available to any qualified group of individuals which: may be "affected" by a release or threatened release at any facility listed on the NPL or proposed for listing under the NCP where a "response action" under CERCLA has begun; meets minimum administrative and management capability requirements found in 40 CFR 30.12 by demonstrating they have or will have reliable procedures for record keeping and financial accountability related to TAG management; and incorporates as a nonprofit for the specific purpose of the representing "affected" individuals at the site.
"Affected" means subject to actual or potential health, economic or environmental threat.
A group is ineligible if: (a) The group is a "potentially responsible party" (PRP), receives money or services from a PRP, or represents a PRP; (b) The group is affiliated with a national organization; (c) The group is an academic institution; (d) The group is a political subdivision; (e) The group was established or is presently sustained by any of the ineligible entities listed above; or (f) The group is not incorporated as a nonprofit organization for the specific purpose of representing affected people except as provided in 40 CFR 35.4045.
This program will benefit groups of individuals affected by Superfund hazardous waste sites. This may include homeowners, land/property owners, as well as any other individuals in the general public who live near a site or are otherwise affected by a site.
At the time of the award, a recipient must either be incorporated or demonstrate that they have taken all necessary and appropriate actions to do so. Recipients must show proof of incorporation no later than the time of the group's first request for reimbursement for costs incurred. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-122.
Aplication and Award Process
(1) Groups wishing to apply for a TAG must first submit to EPA a letter of intent (LOI).
Groups interested in applying for a TAG are encouraged to contact their regional TAG coordinator(s), listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog).
(2) If site work is already underway or scheduled to begin, EPA will publish a notice in the local newspaper to formally notify other interested parties that they may contact the first group that sent the LOI to form a coalition or they may submit a separate LOI.
(3) Competing groups are encouraged to consolidate and submit a single application.
(4) Prior to submitting their application to EPA (or concurrently), the applicant must submit the application package for their State's intergovernmental review process.
This intergovernmental review may take up to 60 days.
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No.
This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No.
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 more information regarding the procedures for submitting a LOI or for application assistance, contact the TAG coordinator(s) for your region (in Appendix IV of the Catalog) or the individuals listed under "Information Contacts."
An applicant for a TAG must submit the following materials in accordance with 40 CFR 35.4125 of the Final Rule: (1) An original EPA Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance. The application must have the original signature of the project manager. (2) A budget showing the proposed expenditure of funds, how the funds and other resources, including the required 20 percent match, will be used to complete the project , and how the budget figures were derived. (3) A scope of work which states how the group will organize, use procured personnel, and share and disseminate information to the larger affected community. In addition, the scope of work must explain project milestones and how the group's board of directors, technical advisors(s) and "project manager" will interact with each other. (4) Assurances, certifications and other preaward paperwork as 40 CFR part 30 requires. Currently, opportunities under this CFDA are not available and electronic submissions are not accepted through www.grants.gov.
(1) A TAG review team in the EPA Regional Office to which the application is submitted reviews the application and sends a letter containing written comments telling the applicant what, if any, changes need to be made to the application to make it complete. (2) An applicant group has 90 days from the date of the EPA letter to make the changes to their application and resubmit it to EPA. If the changes are not submitted within the 90-day period, the application will be returned unprocessed. (3) EPA determines the applicant's eligibility under 40 CFR 35.4020 and considers whether and how successfully the group meets three equally weighted criteria in 40 CFR 35.4155 (see "Criteria for Selecting Proposals," below). When multiple groups apply, EPA will rank each applicant relative to other applicants using the three equally weighted criteria. (4) If an applicant is not going to be awarded a TAG, the EPA will send a letter of rejection to the applicant. (5) If an application is approved for an award, a grant agreement document (EPA Form 5700-20A) is signed by the EPA award official. This document becomes an offer from EPA to the applicant. Award offers are mailed to the recipient five working days after the award official signs the agreement. (6) The applicant must sign and return the agreement to EPA within three weeks of the date the agreement is postmarked or request an extension. EPA will review applications in accordance to terms, conditions and criteria in the TAG regulations and EPA's policy for competing assistance agreements.
There are no fixed deadlines until EPA receives a LOI from an interested group, for a site listed on the NPL or is proposed for listing on the NPL where a response action is underway. Once a LOI is received, EPA will publish a newspaper announcement saying an LOI has been received for a TAG at a specific site; other interested applicants have 30 days from the date of the announcement to submit their own LOIs or to join the original group in applying for a TAG. After this initial 30-day period, the groups who submitted LOIs have 30 days to submit a completed application to EPA.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, Section 117(e), Public Law 96-510; Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, as amended, Public Law 99-499, 42 U.S.C. 9617.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
From 4 to 9 weeks.
Disputes will be resolved under 40 CFR 30.63 or 40 CFR 31.70, as applicable. Before a group obtains judicial review of the dispute, they must have requested the Regional Administrator to review the dispute decision official's determination under 40 CFR 31.70(c), and if the group still has a dispute, they must request the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response to review the Regional Administrator's decision under 40 CFR 31.70(h).
Grant waiver requests are made at the end of the budget period and are based on the requirements of 40 CFR 35.4065, which lists criteria which must be met.
Formula and Matching Requirements
As directed by statute (Section 117(e) of CERCLA, as amended by 42 USC 9617(e)) there may be only one grant per site, there is a $50,000 award limit unless waived, and recipient must contribute a 20 percent match (including in-kind contributions).
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
A grant may be available from the time a site is proposed for listing under the NCP (with a response action underway) until the site is delisted from the NPL - this time span varies based on the complexity of the site cleanup; a group may submit an LOI to apply for a TAG at any eligible site at any point in the site cleanup. For each award, the grant period is determined by the time needed to complete the scope of work stated in the grant application and through negotiations with EPA (this is generally a period of three years or greater). Grants under this CFDA are reimbursement-based; a grantee may draw down funds to cover grant-related expenses they have incurred (such as a technical advisor's invoice for services/expenses).
Post Assistance Requirements
(1) Progress reports.
Each recipient shall submit quarterly progress reports to EPA for the technical assistance grant project 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter.
Progress reports shall fully describe in chart or narrative format the progress achieved in relationship to the approved schedule, budget, and the technical assistance grant project milestones.
Special problems encountered must be explained.
(2) Financial status report.
Each recipient shall submit to EPA a financial status report annually, within 90 days of the anniversary date of the start of the TAG project.
These reports shall include the status of project's funds through identification of project transactions and within 90 days after the end of the TAG funding period.
(3) Final report.
Each recipient shall submit to EPA the final report within 90 days after the end of the project.
The report shall describe project goals and objectives, activities undertaken to achieve goals and objectives, difficulties encountered, technical advisors' work products and funds spent.
(4) Requests for Reimbursement or Federal Cash Transactions Reports.
Depending on the method of payment, each recipient shall submit periodic requests for reimbursement as funds are needed, or shall submit to EPA a federal cash transaction report semiannually, within 15 working days following the end of the semiannual period which ends June 30 and December 31 of each year.
These reports shall include the amount of funds advanced to the TAG recipient or electronically transferred to the TAG recipient's bank account, and a description of how the funds were spent.
(5) Minority-Owned Business Enterprise/Women-Owned Enterprise (MBE/WBE) Utilization.
Each recipient shall submit to EPA a MBE/WBE Utilization report annually, even if no contracts have been signed.
Each recipient is required to disclose whether they have contracted with a MBE/WBE in the past Federal fiscal year, the value of the contract, if any, and the percentage of the total project dollars on MBE/WBEs.
(6) Each recipient shall comply with any reporting requirements in the terms and conditions of the "grant agreement".
(7) Each recipient shall comply with any reporting and record keeping requirements in OMB Circular A-122 and 40 CFR Part 30.
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.
(1) Each recipient shall keep complete financial records accurately showing how the Federal funds were used and the match, whether it is in the form of cash or in-kind assistance. (2) Each recipient shall comply with any reporting and record keeping requirements of OMB Circular A-122 and 40 CFR Part 30. (3) Each recipient must keep TAG financial records for ten years from the date of the final Financial Status Report, or until any audit, litigation, cost recovery, and/or disputes initiated before the end of the ten-year retention period are settled, whichever is longer. At the ten-year mark, the TAG financial records may be disposed of after first getting written approval to do so from the EPA. Alternately, a recipient may choose to submit financial records to the EPA for safekeeping when the final Financial Status Report is submitted. (4) Each recipient must send to EPA a copy of each final written product prepared by their technical advisor as part of the TAG. EPA will send the final written products to the local Superfund site information repository(ies) where all site-related documents are available to the public.
(Includes initial awards and additional funds)FY 07 $926,952; FY 08 est $600,000 ($50,000 awarded as of 5/1/2008); and FY 09 est $500,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Initial awards for assistance agreements awarded under this CFDA number will not exceed $50,000. After the initial award, additional funding may be awarded based on the criteria detailed under 40 CFR 35.4065, and subject to the availability of funds. The average additional award is $40,000 (per agreement). Since 1988, 307 TAGs have been awarded. Of these, 114 grantees were awarded $50,000 or less; 160 grantees have received awards with a cumulative value between $51,000 and $150,000; 33 grantees have received awards with a cumulative value ranging between $151,000 and $250,000; and 9 grantees have received awards whose cumulative value totals of more than $250,000. The cumulative award value includes the initial award and any supplemental funding awards over the life of the agreement.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
40 CFR 31; 40 CFR Part 30; 40 CFR Part 35,( Subpart M); and TAG Program Guidance Documents.
Regional or Local Office
Questions may be directed to the EPA Regional Office serving a particular state. All TAG paperwork should be submitted directly to the EPA Regional Office. A list of the Regions and their States, plus the name(s) and telephone number(s) for the Regional TAG contact, is presented below and can be found in Appendix IV of the CFDA. U.S. EPA, Region I (CT, MA, NH, RI, ME)- Robert Shewack, Mail Code: HBS, U.S. EPA Region I, Office of Site Remediation and Restoration, One Congress Street, Boston, MA 02114-2023, (617) 918-1428 (Robert), (617) 918-1347 (Art), Toll Free: (1-888) 372-7341, (617) 918-1291 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region II (NY, NH, PR, VI) - Frank Barone, Mail Code: 2 OPM-GCMB, U.S. EPA Region II, Grants & Contracts Management Branch, Office of Policy and Management, 290 Broadway, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866, (212) 637- 3379, (212) 637-3518 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region III (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV) - Amelia Libertz, Mail Code: (3HS52), U.S. EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-5522, Toll Free: (1-800) 553-2509, (215) 814-3015 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region IV (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN) - Denise Bland, Jackie Dendy, Rhonda Foucher, Paula Walraven, Carol Jackson, Mail Code: WDCSB, U.S. EPA Region IV, Waste Management Division, Program Services Branch, Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street, Atlanta, GA 30303, (404) 562-8880 (Denise), (404) 562-8876 (Jackie), (404) 562-8867 (Rhonda), (404) 562-8858 (Paula), (404) 562-8856 (Carol), Toll Free: (1-800) 564-7577, (404) 562-8842 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region V (IL, IN, MI, NM, OH, WI) - Susan Pastor (TAG Coordinator), Mail Code: P-19J, U.S. EPA Region V, Office of Public Affairs, Community Involvement Section, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3507, (312) 353-1325, Toll Free: (1-800) 621-8431, (312) 353-1155 Fax; Glynis Landers (TAG Project Officer), Mail Code: SM-5J, U.S. EPA Region, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3507, (312) 886-1816, (312) 886- Fax; U.S. EPA, Region VI (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX) - Beverly Negri, Zana Halliday, Mail Code: 6SF-TS, U.S. EPA Region VI, Tower at Fountain Place, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, TX 75202-2733, 214) 665-8157 (David), (214) 665-8363 (Zana), Toll Free: (1-800) 533-3508, (214) 655-6660 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region VII (IA, KS, MO, NE) - Hattie Thomas, Mail Code: PBAF, U.S. EPA Region VII, Office of External Programs, 901 North 5th Street, Kansas City, KS 66101, (913) 551-7762, Toll Free: (1-800) 223-0425, (913) 551-7066 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY) - Linda Armer; Mail Code: 8EPR-PS, U.S. EPA Region VIII, Office of Communications & Public Involvement, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129, (303) 312-6696, Toll Free: (1-800) 227-8917, (303) 312-6065 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region IX (AZ, CA, HI, NV) - Jackie Lane, Mail Code: SFD-3, U.S. EPA Region IX, Office of Community Involvement, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 972-3236, Toll Free: (1-800) 231-3075, (415) 947-3528 Fax; U.S. EPA, Region X (AK, ID, OR, WA) - Sally Hanft, Mail Code: ECO-O86, U.S. EPA Region X, Ecosystem and Community Health Unit, 1200 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 553-1207 (Sally), Toll Free: (1-800) 424-4372, (206) 553-2955 Fax.
Freya Margand; Community Involvement and Outreach Branch, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Mail code: 5204P), Environmental Protection Agency; Ariel Rios Bldg., 1200 Pennsylvania Ave.; N.W., Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (703) 603-8889. Fax: (703) 603-9102. E-mail: email@example.com Center web site address: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/community/.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description are described in the programmatic regulations (40 CFR Part 35) as follow. In selecting a proposal: 1) EPA will determine if a group meets the following eligibility criteria: (a) The community group is a group of people who may be "affected" by a release or a threatened release at any facility listed on the NPL or proposed for listing under the NCP where a response action is underway; and (b) The group meets the minimum administrative and management capability requirements found in 40 CFR 30.21 by demonstrating they have or will have reliable procedures for record keeping and financial accountability related to managing the TAG. 2) EPA will also determine if there are factors which make the group ineligible. A group is ineligible if: (a) The group is a "potentially responsible party" (PRP), receives money or services from a PRP, or represent a PRP; (b) The group is "affiliated" with a national organization; (c) The group is an academic institution; (d) The group is a political subdivision; (e) The group was established or is presently sustained by any of the ineligible entities listed above; or (f) The group is not incorporated as a nonprofit organization for the specific purpose of representing affected people except as provided in 40 CFR 35.4045. 3) Once EPA determines if eligibility requirements have been met, the Agency considers whether and how successfully a group meets the following, equally weighted, criteria: (a) Representation of groups and individuals affected by the site; (b) The group's plans to use the services of a technical advisor throughout the Superfund response action; and (c) The group's ability and plan to inform others in the community of the information provided by the technical advisor. 4) Additionally, a group must incorporate as a nonprofit for the purpose of participating in decision making at the Superfund site for which the TAG was granted (for exception see 40 CFR 35.4045). Applicant groups should consult the Superfund TAG Handbooks, "Applying for a Grant" and "The Application Forms with Instructions," for detailed instructions on applying for a TAG.