NOTICE OF INTENT TO AWARD This Funding Announcement is not a request for applications.
This announcement is to provide public notice of the National Park Service (NPS), intention to fund the following project activities without competition.
ABSTRACT Funding Announcement P15AS00233 Project
Title Nutrient Enrichment Critical Loads of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition for Aquatic Ecosystems in the Western U. S. Recipient Washington State University (WSU) Total Anticipated Award Amount $49,67 1. 00 Cost Share None Anticipated Length of Agreement 20 months Anticipated Period of Performance From date of award to 3/31/2017 Award Instrument Cooperative Agreement Statutory Authority 54 USC 101702(b) CFDA # and Title 1 5. 945, Cooperative Research and Training Programs ��� Resources of the National Park System (CESU) Single Source Justification Criteria Cited (2) Continuation and (4) Unique Qualifications Point of Contact June Zastrow 303-987-6718 firstname.lastname@example.org OVERVIEW Nitrogen pollution threatens to alter protected ecosystems throughout the Western U.S., including wilderness, national parks, and national forests.
Nitrogen released into air by cars and power plants, and into soil and water by agriculture, can be transported through the atmosphere and subsequently deposited onto remote ecosystems as wet deposition (precipitation) and dry deposition of gases or particles.
Nitrogen deposition can cause a range of adverse ecological effects, including altered nutrient cycling, reduced species diversity, and acidification.
In the Western U.S., changes in the chemistry and ecology of high elevation lakes are often the first in a series of ecological changes caused by nitrogen deposition.
Because lakes are sensitive indicators of deposition effects, testing for the onset of these lake changes is crucial for assessing if current management strategies and nitrogen emissions regulations are sufficient for protecting wilderness and other federal lands.
The National Park Service (NPS), other federal agencies, and stakeholders are engaged in an effort to identify threshold or ���critical��� load nitrogen deposition rates at which adverse changes to ecosystems occur throughout the U. S. The National Critical Loads Database (NCLD) was developed by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program Critical Loads of Atmospheric Deposition Science Committee.
The NCLD was created to support critical loads research, provide federal agencies with scientific information that can inform policy or land management decisions, and facilitate collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe related to critical loads.
The NCLD database currently does not include critical loads for nutrient enrichment effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in aquatic ecosystems.
This project will gather and analyze data relevant to lake nutrient enrichment critical loads in the Western U. S. in order to support the addition of this information to the NCLD.
The focus will be on high-elevation lakes in national parks and national forests, but depending on data availability and applicability, may include lower-elevation lakes on federal and state lands.
The project will be completed in two phases.
Phase I will involve data gathering, database construction, and data assessment.
Data analysis will take place in Phase II.
STATEMENT OF JOINT OBJECTIVES/PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN The following are the objectives of the project:
��� Identify and gather existing data that can be used to assess nutrient enrichment effects in Western U. S. lakes, with a focus on high-elevation lakes in national parks and national forests.
��� Analyze available data to assess the extent of deposition-induced nutrient enrichment in Western U. S. lakes.
��� If possible, calculate regional critical loads.
RECIPIENT INVOLVEMENT The WSU has a graduate student, who will complete this project as part of his Ph.D.
dissertation and post-doctoral work.
The Graduate Student (GS) wrote the study plan in consultation with NPS staff and a key contact at the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Clean Air Markets Division.
Under the guidance of the Principal Investigator (PI), the graduate student will work with NPS, USEPA, U. S. Forest Service, and researchers to:
1) gather relevant water chemistry, biological, GIS, and nitrogen deposition data, 2) compile and format gathered data into a project database, 3) analyze the data, and 4) write project reports.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE INVOLVEMENT Substantial involvement on the part of the NPS is anticipated for the successful completion of the objectives to be funded by this award.
In particular, the NPS will be responsible for the following:
1) cooperating with WSU and USEPA to finalize project goals and objectives, 2) providing access to relevant NPS data that exist for Western U. S. parks, 3) facilitating data gathering by supplying WSU with information about relevant contacts at parks, universities, and federal and state agencies, 4) meeting with WSU and USEPA to agree on a data analysis approach for Phase II, 5) providing project oversight, and 6) coordinating review of project reports.
SINGLE-SOURCE JUSTIFICATION DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SINGLE SOURCE POLICY REQUIREMENTS Department of the Interior Policy (505 DM 2) requires a written justification which explains why competition is not practicable for each single-source award.
The justification must address one or more of the following criteria as well as discussion of the program legislative history, unique capabilities of the proposed recipient, and cost-sharing contribution offered by the proposed recipient, as applicable.
In order for an assistance award to be made without competition, the award must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
(1) Unsolicited Proposal ��� The proposed award is the result of an unsolicited assistance application which represents a unique or innovative idea, method, or approach which is not the subject of a current or planned contract or assistance award, but which is deemed advantageous to the program objectives; (2) Continuation ��� The activity to be funded is necessary to the satisfactory completion of, or is a continuation of an activity presently being funded, and for which competition would have a significant adverse effect on the continuity or completion of the activity; (3) Legislative intent ��� The language in the applicable authorizing legislation or legislative history clearly indicates Congress��� intent to restrict the award to a particular recipient of purpose; (4) Unique Qualifications ��� The applicant is uniquely qualified to perform the activity based upon a variety of demonstrable factors such as location, property ownership, voluntary support capacity, cost-sharing ability if applicable, technical expertise, or other such unique qualifications; (5) Emergencies ��� Program/award where there is insufficient time available (due to a compelling and unusual urgency, or substantial danger to health or safety) for adequate competitive procedures to be followed.
NPS did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria:
(2) Continuation ��� The activity to be funded is necessary to the satisfactory completion of, or is a continuation of an activity presently being funded, and for which competition would have a significant adverse effect on the continuity or completion of the activity.
(4) Unique Qualifications ��� The applicant is uniquely qualified to perform the activity based upon a variety of demonstrable factors such as location, property ownership, voluntary support capacity, cost-sharing ability if applicable, technical expertise, or other such unique qualifications.
Continuation and Unique Qualifications:
The PI and GS are uniquely qualified to complete this work because they have already conducted scientific research that is directly relevant to and will substantially enhance this project.
Working with the NPS Air Resources Division under Task Agreement P13AC00955, the PI and GS have already conducted a series of experiments to quantify responses of phytoplankton to nitrogen increases in high elevation lakes at Mount Rainier (MORA), North Cascades (NOCA), and Olympic (OLYM) National Parks.
Through this work, they have generated a unique data set of water chemistry, phytoplankton species distribution, and phytoplankton nitrogen response threshold that will be an important component of the database that will be constructed in project Phase I.
In addition, the GS has already collaborated with NPS and U. S. Geological Survey staff to construct a database of water chemistry data collected in high elevation lakes at MORA, NOCA, and OLYM as part of his dissertation research.
The GS is currently combining the assembled water chemistry database with data generated through TA P13AC00955 to analyze nutrient effects of nitrogen deposition on lakes within the three parks.
Through this work, the PI and the GS have already:
i) generated and gathered data that can be used to construct the database in project Phase I, ii) demonstrated an ability to collaborate with federal staff to assemble a database, and iii) demonstrated an ability to develop and execute a plan to analyze nutrient enrichment effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on lakes.
Thus, considering they are near completion of a similar effort for three national parks in the Pacific Northwest, the GS and the PI are uniquely qualified to assess nutrient enrichment effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on lakes throughout the West more broadly.
A single-source award to the WSU team will ensure the database they have assembled for the Pacific Northwest will be integrated into a larger Western U. S. database as efficiently as possible.
Finally, the GS has unique qualifications that will facilitate development of project products that are maximally relevant to NPS and others in the regulatory community.
Through the National Science Foundation-funded NSPIRE (Nitrogen Systems:
Policy-oriented Integrated Research and Education) graduate fellowship at WSU, the GS took an intensive series of environmental policy coursework and then performed a three-month fellowship working at the USEPA���s Clean Air Markets Division in Washington, D.C.
The USEPA Clean Air Markets Division is an active member of CLAD, is responsible for periodically reviewing the Clean Air Act���s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and utilizes information such as that which will be developed through this project to periodically review the adequacy of the NAAQS.
Through his fellowship at USEPA, the GS gained experience with the development and policy application of the NCLD, which is currently maintained by USEPA staff.
The GS is thus uniquely qualified to integrate data and analyses generated through this project into the NCLD, and thereby facilitate application of project data to decision-making by NPS and other federal agencies that will benefit from this project.