Environmental Policy and State Innovation Grants

(1) To support analyses, studies, evaluations, and conferences that lead to improved environmental compliance, reduction in pollutants generated or released to the environment, and conservation of natural resources; (2) To promote comprehensive, cross-media approaches to environmental protection; (3)
To encourage and promote stewardship programs that reflect "beyond compliance" behaviors and offer incentives or rewards for superior environmental performance; (4) To encourage and promote change that is "systems-oriented" and enables better results (e.g., environmental, efficiency, and/or cost savings) from a program, process, or sector-wide innovation; and (5) To incorporate outcome measurement and evaluation essential to transferability of the innovation.

Funding Priority-Fiscal Year 2008: EPA's National Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) has completed its solicitation and competition for FY 2008, and is currently developing plans for one or more solicitations in FY 2009.

The 2008 competition was targeted to address the first priority for this program.

At least one competition addressing the first priority area is anticipated in FY 2009 and one or more additional solicitations addressing the other two priority areas are possible.

Funding under this competition (Part 1) will support states striving to create performance-oriented regulatory systems that allow flexible strategies to achieve measurable results, environmental stewardship in all parts of society that support sustainable development and pollution prevention, and a culture of creative environmental problem solving that has a high capacity for collaborative, results-driven work and the organizational systems to support it.

Depending upon the availability of funding, NCEI may also initiate additional competitions to address the second (Part 2) and third (Part 3) priority areas of this program.

Part 2 would be intended to provide independent evaluation of State projects funded previous under this competition for the principal benefit of the states to help them in assessing the applicability of innovations tested in projects funded previously under this competition, or supported otherwise by EPA's collaboration focused at informing other states and American Indian Tribes with delegated authority for environmental programs about the feasibility and practicality of implementing similar innovations.

The principal beneficiaries of these evaluations will be States and Tribes that are assessing the applicability of an environmental innovation tested by another state, for their own use.

Part 3 would provide assistance for the development of a center to provide technical assistance to the states and tribes for the transfer of policy innovation.

To fulfill this role, the center would also support the state and tribal environmental agencies by convening meetings for the purpose of exchanging information on state experience with testing and measuring the results or benefits of innovation.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

This is the third year for this CFDA entry.

Under this announcement and previous announcements under 66.611, Environmental Policy and Innovation Grants, EPA funded projects such as the "Implementation of a Voluntary Automotive Body and Automotive Repair Environmental Results Program." This project supported a state undertaking an automotive body and automotive repair Environmental Results Program (ERP) to administer targeted multi-media assistance to auto body and auto repair facilities, to implement a self-certification program, and to measure the compliance results.

Another example of a project funded is the "Auto Salvage Environmental Results Program: Improved Compliance and Performance through Innovation." This project supported a state applying the ERP program to the auto salvage sector.

The three part program included: (1) facility certification; (2) statistically-based performance measurement; and (3) on-site compliance, pollution prevention, and technical assistance.

A third example of a project funded is the "Retail Gasoline Sector Environmental Results Project," which enabled a state to apply the ERP model to the retail gasoline sales sector as well as to other facilities regulated by the state's Underground Storage Tank program.

Other examples of funded projects include: (a) the development of a voluntary Community EMS model under their Comprehensive Local Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) to encourage comprehensive environmental planning and continuous improvement; (b) the development of a watershed-based permitting program to address integrated management of water quality in a Basin impacted by coal-bed methane (CBM) extraction; (c) the implementation of an Environmental Leadership Program; A Vertical Start-up Model with Multi-State Applicability - designed to expand development of the state environmental leadership program, develop partnerships with other States in the Region and on the State borders to develop membership criteria and support for common business sectors, and work to align previously separate leadership projects such as OSHA's Voluntary Partnership Program, Energy Star, Green Buildings, and Smart Growth; and (d) the encouragement of Superior Environmental Performance Through Management Systems, Recognition, and Rewards.

This program establishes a State-based Environmental Leadership Program that will complement (through a MOU/PPA) their participation in the National Performance Track Program.

Planned project tasks include: building a "virtual EMS" tutorial through the college/university system; "greening the supply chain" mentoring projects; and implementing Performance Track incentives for applicable member facilities.

New projects are testing the use of the Environmental Results Program across several business sectors applied at improving stormwater management, and applying Environmental Management Systems in permitting to improving compliance and environmental performance in the dairy AFO sector.


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

In the FY 2007 competition, the Agency receive 17 pre-proposals for a total of $3.8M. Seven projects were selected totaling $1,611M in funding. In the FY 2008 competition, the Agency received 12 pre-proposals totaling over $3M. Three projects were selected totaling $0.885M in funding. Since the beginning of the State Innovation Grant Program, 35 awards have been made (the 3 selections made in the 2008 competition have awards pending at the date of this announcement). The 38 projects cover the following areas: 19 Environmental Results Program (ERP) projects, 11 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and other permitting integration approach projects, 2 watershed permitting projects, 1 project for a streamlined and enhanced permitting through application of innovative information technology (IT) Systems, 1 project for integrated regional air quality management across state and regional boundaries, and 8 Performance Track (PT) projects. Please note that several of these projects incorporate multiple elements (e.g., projects that are both ERP and EMS, or projects that are both ERP and Performance Track)so, this breakdown of projects identifies projects that appear in multiple categories. Eight of the initial projects from the FY 2002 and 2004 solicitations are now complete. These state agencies have submitted their final project reports. For additional information, including access to the Program's 2008 progress report executive summary, see: http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants. The results of these assistance agreements will enable the Agency to meet performance measures noted in the Agency Strategic Plan.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants and cooperative agreements are available to support recipients' allowable direct costs incident to approved Environmental Policy and Innovation plus allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies and regulations.

Funding awarded for research does not include research within the purview of EPA's Office or Research and Development.

Funds awarded under Section 311(b)(3) of CERCLA must be used for projects relating to innovative or alternative treatment technologies that may be utilized in response actions to achieve more permanent protection of human health and welfare and the environment.

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

Assistance under Part 1 of this program is available to principal environmental regulatory agencies for States, territories, and possessions of the U.S., including the District of Columbia.

EPA may make a separate competition available under Part 1 of this program to federally-certified Native American Tribes.

Assistance under Parts 2 or 3 of this program is available to not-for-profit institutions, foundations and institutes to provide independent evaluation of projects or classes of projects that will be of use to other States and Tribes in implementing innovations; or, to provide assistance to states testing policy innovation and for the transfer among the states and tribes of information useful for the implementation of innovations.

EPA would issue separate solicitations for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this program.

Some of EPA's statutes may limit assistance to specific types of interested applicants.

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

Under Part 1 of this announcement, State and local governments, U.S. territories and possessions. In a separate solicitation that could be issued under Part 1, Federally-certified Native American Tribes. For Parts 2 and 3, non profit institutions, foundations and institutes may apply.

Credentials/Documentation

Documentation of nonprofit status may be required. 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.

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 and those forms are available on the EPA web site (http://www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/how_to_apply.htm). 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. For information on the current or prior solicitations, please see the EPA State Innovation Grants website at http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants. Applicants may be able to use http://www.grants.gov to electronically apply for certain grant opportunities under this CFDA.

Award Procedures

For non-competitive awards, EPA will conduct an administrative evaluation to determine the adequacy of application in relation to grant regulations and to technical and program evaluation to determine the merit and relevance of the project. The Agency will then advise the applicant if funding is being considered. A final work plan will then be negotiated with the applicant. 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

Deadlines will be specified in Request for Applications or Request for Initial Proposals.

Authorization

Clean Air Act, Section 103, as amended; Clean Water Act, Section 104 as amended; Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001 of as amended; Safe Drinking Water Act, Section 1442; Toxic Substances Control Act, Section 10 as amended; Federal, Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, Section 20 as amended; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Section 8001; Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Sections 104(k)(6) 311 as amended.

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 grants and cooperative agreements for Environmental Policy and Innovation. Approval of subsequent funding increments is dependent on satisfactory project progress, continued relevance of the project to EPA's priorities, availability of funds, and Agency policy on the competitive grant process.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

EPA normally funds grants and cooperative agreements on a 12-month basis. However, EPA can negotiate the project period with each applicant based on project requirements. Most projects have been of a 1-3 year duration. For purposes of this program, EPA limits the project periods to no more than 4 years.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

EPA includes reporting requirements for grants and 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 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 grants available to personnel authorized to examine EPA recipients grants and 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.

Obigations

FY 07 $1,611,000; FY 08 $885,000; and FY 09 est. $1,000,000. Assistance agreements under this CFDA generally take the form of Cooperative Agreements and rarely Grants.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$50,000 to $350,000 per grant. The average for awards is approximately $225,000 for a 1-4 year assistance agreement.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Environmental Policy and State Innovation grants and cooperative agreements are subject to EPA's General Grant Regulations (40 CFR Part 30 and 40 CFR Part 31). State governments costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87.

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, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460. For program information contact Pamela Stirling; Phone: (202) 566-0949; FAX: (202) 566-3001; e-mail: stirling.pamela@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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