Brownfield Job Training Cooperative Agreements

To recruit, train, and place unemployed and under-employed residents of brownfields-impacted communities, and by doing so, providing individuals of these communities with the skills needed to obtain sustainable employment in brownfields redevelopment and environmental related careers.

By doing
so, the Brownfields Job Training Program promotes the facilitation of assessment, remediation, or preparation of brownfield sites.

A brownfield site is "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant," as defined in Section 101(39) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA, or Superfund).

The law further defines the term "brownfield site" to include a site that "is contaminated by a controlled substance...; is contaminated by petroleum or a petroleum product excluded from the definition of 'hazardous substance'...; or is mine-scarred land." Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2008: EPA expects to solicit proposals on an annual basis.

Greater weight will be given to those applicants that exhibit comprehensive plans to leverage funding to develop an integrated job training program, those who demonstrate experience in providing job training and other job training services, and applicants who meet the ranking criteria outlined in Section "Criteria For Selecting Proposals" of this CFDA.

Annual Funding Priorities: No more than 15 percent of the funding appropriated for CERCLA 104(k) grants may be used to fund research, training and technical assistance grants authorized by CERCLA 104(k)(6).

By statute, 25 percent of the funding appropriated for CERCLA 104(k) grants must be used for characterization, assessment, and remediation of Brownfields sites contaminated by petroleum or petroleum products.

The Agency must also give preference to the ten statutory ranking criteria found at CERCLA 104(k)(5)(C) when evaluating applications for funding.

Funding Priority - Fiscal Year 2009: EPA expects to solicit proposals on an annual basis.

Greater weight will be given to those applicants who meet the ranking criteria outlined in "Criteria For Selecting Proposals" of this CFDA including those who demonstrate experience in providing job training recruitment and placement services and environmental remediation knowledge, community involvement and employer partnerships, an ability to leverage nongovernmental funding, prior experience in managing and reporting upon federal grants, a demonstration of community need and environmental justice issues, and performance measurement strategies.

Annual Funding Priorities: No more than 15 percent of the funding appropriated for CERCLA 104(k) grants may be used to fund research, training and technical assistance grants authorized by CERCLA 104(k)(6).

By statute, 25 percent of the funding appropriated for CERCLA 104(k) grants must be used for characterization, assessment, and remediation of Brownfields sites contaminated by petroleum or petroleum products.

The Agency must also give preference to the ten statutory ranking criteria found at CERCLA 104(k)(5)(C) when evaluating applications for funding.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

In Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008, the EPA Brownfields Program awarded cooperative agreements to a variety of eligible entities and nonprofit organizations to provide local residents with the skills needed to gain employment in careers related to the assessment and cleanup of brownfields sites.

These cooperative agreements included training and instruction in a variety of subjects, including: OSHA health and safety training, HAZWOPER and HAZMAT certification, lead and asbestos abatement, forklift operations, phytoremediation, mold remediation, site assessment, sampling, field investigation, instrumentation, and treatment technologies.

Furthermore, these cooperative agreements provided brownfields job training programs the funds needed to perform recruitment and community outreach to residents in low-income and minority neighborhoods impacted by brownfields sites.


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 Regional Offices are listed in Section 7 in the Application Guidelines for Brownfields Job Training Grants.


Program Accomplishments

To date, EPA has funded 131 brownfields job training grants totaling approximately $25 million. In FY 07, EPA received thirty-eight proposals and awarded twelve new cooperative agreements. In FY 08, EPA received 38 proposals and awarded thirteen new cooperative agreements. It is anticipated that 12 to 13 cooperative agreements will be awarded for FY 09. As of spring 2008, more than 4,200 people had completed training; and more than 2,700 obtained employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $13.97.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds awarded under Section 104(k)(6) of CERCLA must be used for training, research, and technical assistance to individuals and organizations, to facilitate the inventory of brownfields properties, site assessments, cleanup of brownfields properties, community involvement, or site preparation.

However, for brownfields job training grants, individuals are not eligible to apply.

(See "Eligibility Requirements").

Grants and cooperative agreements are available to eligible entities throughout the United States.

However, eligible applicants must propose to serve a community that currently receives, or has received, financial assistance for brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, cleanup, State or tribal site-specific response program work, and/or targeted brownfield assessment grants.

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.

Grants and cooperative agreements are available to support recipients' eligible and allowable direct costs incurred under an approved work plan plus allowable programmatic costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

Costs incurred under CERCLA 104(k)(6) grant or cooperative agreements may not be used for an administrative cost, penalty or fine, a Federal cost-share requirement, a response cost for which the recipient of the grant or cooperative agreement is potentially liable under CERCLA 107, or the cost of complying with a Federal law, with the exception of the costs of laws applicable to cleanup of Brownfields sites.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Proposals will be accepted from either eligible governmental entities as defined in CERCLA Section 104(k)(1) or eligible nonprofit organizations as defined in Public Law 106-107, the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act.

Eligible governmental entities include a general purpose local unit of government; a land clearance authority or other quasi-governmental entity that operates under the supervision and control of, or as an agent of, a general purpose unit of government; a governmental entity created by a State legislature; a regional council or group of general purpose units of local government; a redevelopment agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by a State; an Indian Tribe (other than in Alaska), or an Alaskan Native Regional Corporation and an Alaska Native Village Corporation as those terms are defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C.

1601 and following); and the Metlakatla Indian Community.

Intertribal consortia, except consortia comprised of ineligible Alaskan tribes, are eligible to apply as well.

Eligible nonprofit organizations include any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that is operated mainly for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purpose in the public interest; is not organized primarily for profit; and uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operation of the organization.

Workforce Investment Boards that meet these criteria may be eligible nonprofit organizations.

Public and nonprofit private educational institutions are eligible to apply.

However, nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply.

For-profit or proprietary training organizations or trade schools are not eligible to apply.

Evidence of current nonprofit status under Federal, state or tribal law must be provided at the time the proposal is submitted.

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.

Applicants that received a Brownfields Job Training grant from EPA in Fiscal Year 2008 (announced March 2008) are not eligible to apply in FY 09.

A list of brownfields job training grants awarded in Fiscal Year 2008 can be found on the Brownfields Website, http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/pilot.htm#previous.

However, applicants who received a brownfields job training grant in or before FY 07 are eligible to apply for this competition.

Applicants must also demonstrate that their proposed project will not duplicate other federally-funded job training programs in their target area.

For example, applicants must demonstrate that the proposed training project does not duplicate National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences hazardous waste worker training programs in their target community.

If an applicant is listed as a recipient of an NIEHS job training grant, the applicant must demonstrate how services under this proposed project will complement but not duplicate existing federal job training activities in the target community and area.

All applicants must also include OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training as part of their proposed training curriculums.

All curriculums must include this training and be provided to all individuals entering training.

Please visit the following website for more details: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Job training grants will provide environmental job training and help individuals of brownfields neighborhoods take advantage of job opportunities created as a result of the assessment and cleanup of brownfields properties. In addition, this program benefits industry by increasing the supply of skilled labor for firms that engage in environmental assessment and cleanup.

Credentials/Documentation

EPA requires that applicants document their nonprofit status at the time of application. The Agency may also request that applicants demonstrate that they have appropriate background, academic training, experience in fields, and necessary equipment to carry out training projects.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This is a competitive grant program.

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" in Section 7 of the Application Guidelines for Brownfields Job Training Grants.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

(See EPA's Federal Register Notice from November 26, 1986, to exempt hazardous waste training programs from intergovernmental review.)

Application Procedures

By statute, EPA must award Brownfields Job Training grants competitively. EPA will specify application procedures in Requests for Initial Proposals or Request for Applications. As stipulated in the Requests for Applications, successful grant applicants must provide, in addition to the SF 424, a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, which is now required when applying for federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. For more information go to: http://www.grants.gov. 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. 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. Final approval of applications for job training grants and supporting documentation is made by EPA. Award of grant funds are made by EPA Regional Award Officials.

Deadlines

Proposal deadlines for selection of job training grant projects are announced in Requests for Initial Proposals and/or Requests for Applications. The FY 09 Request for Applications is anticipated to be issued in June 2008 and the closing date will follow approximately 45-60 days following the issuing date.

Authorization

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 9604(k)(6), Sections 101(39) and 104(k)6).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

For job training grants, the range of approval/disapproval time will be approximately ninety 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

EPA may incrementally fund grants and cooperative agreements under this program. Approval of subsequent funding increments is dependent on satisfactory project progress, continued relevance of the project to EPA's priorities and availability of funds. Renewals and extensions of funding are not available.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

For the Brownfields Job Training Grant, EPA does not require that applicants include a match or cost share. However, evidence of leveraged funds is encouraged. Furthermore, a statutory factor in ranking applications under Section 104(k)(6) is the extent to which EPA financial assistance will stimulate the availability of other funds for environmental assessment or remediation, and subsequent reuse of Brownfields sites. Applicants may be encouraged to provide information regarding resources (cash/in-kind services) that they, or a project partner, would commit to efforts receiving EPA financial assistance. EPA may take these commitments into account in ranking proposals. This program has no statutory formula.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The performance period for job training grant funds is generally two years. Brownfield grant cooperative agreements may be amended to provide additional funding and additional time for grant recipients demonstrating significant success in brownfields training and redevelopment efforts depending upon the availability of funding. Proposal funding is not guaranteed at any stage of the proposal process until the Cooperative Agreement, including workplan, is completed and the final award is made. All awards are made in a lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Reporting requirements are identified at 40 CFR Parts 30 and 31.

EPA may include additional information regarding the content and frequency of reporting requirements in the terms and conditions of the agreements.

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 (non-profits and universities) or 40 CFR Part 31 (governmental units) are applicable depending upon the identity of the recipient. Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes 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 as a result of audit, related records must be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

68-0103-0-1-304.

Obigations

FY 07 $2,342,813; FY 08 $2,597,050; and FY 09 est $2,500,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

(FY 07) $171,250 to $200,000; average $195,234. (FY 08) $197,051 to $200,000; average $199,773. For job training grants, an eligible entity may apply up to $200,000. The performance period for these grants is generally 2 years.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

For job training grants, costs must be in accordance with OMB Circulars Nos. A-87 (State, tribal and local governments), A-21 (universities) and A-122 (nonprofit organizations), depending on the recipient. Recipients must comply with 40 CFR Part 30 for universities and nonprofit organizations, and Part 31 for states, tribes, and local governments. In addition, recipients must comply with applicable provisions of EPA training grant regulations at 40 CFR Part 45. EPA will also provide applicants with guidance on statutory prohibitions on the use of grant and cooperative agreement funds in Requests for Initial Proposals, Requests for Applications, or by other means.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

EPA Regional Offices are listed in Section 7 in the Application Guidelines for Brownfields Job Training Grants.

Headquarters Office

For program information contact: Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, OSWER, EPA, Washington, DC 20460, Joseph Bruss, Telephone: (202) 566-2772, Fax: (202) 566-1476, E-mail: bruss.joseph@epa.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The evaluation and selection criteria for competitive awards under this CFDA description will be described in the competitive announcement.



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