FY 2009 Request for Applications for the Pollution Prevention Information Network (PPIN) Grants Program
AGENCY: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances
Funding Opportunity Title: FY 2009 Request for Applications for the Pollution Prevention Information Network (PPIN) Grants Program
ACTION: Request for Applications (RFA)
CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE (CFDA) No.: 66.708
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY No.: EPA-HQ-OPPT-09-04
DATES: The closing date for receipt of hard copy application packages is May 1, 2009. All hard copies of application packages must be submitted for delivery (as shown on a receipt or waybill) or postmarked by May 1, 2009, in order to be considered for funding. Electronic submissions must be received by email@example.com May 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm EDT. Applications submitted for delivery (as shown on receipt or waybill), postmarked or received by email after the closing date closing date will not be considered for funding. Final applications will be requested from those eligible entries whose applications have been successfully evaluated and preliminarily recommended for award. To allow for efficient management of the competitive process, EPA requests submittal of an informal notice of an "Intent to Apply" to Beth Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 17, 2009. Submission of intent to apply is optional. It is a process management tool that will allow EPA to better anticipate the total staff time required for efficient review, evaluation, and selection of submitted applications.
SUMMARY: The Pollution Prevention Information Network (PPIN) supports grantees that have collaboratively created a national network which promotes pollution prevention (P2) information tools and services. Applications shall describe tasks for all three of the following areas: 1) promotion of P2 approaches to address Agency priorities, 2) collaboration on national P2 information needs, and 3) measurement of effectiveness of the proposed activities. Approximately $800,000 will be available in FY 2009, under the authority of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, to support grants to eligible entities including eligible States, Tribes, and Intertribal Consortia.
FUNDING/AWARDS: Estimated funding for this competition is approximately $800,000 and funding is subject to the availability of funds. EPA anticipates awarding between four to eight cooperative agreements under this announcement.
ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION: Eligible applicants include the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, any agency or instrumentality of a State including State universities, and Federally recognized Indian Tribes that meet the requirement for treatment in a manner similar to a State in 40 CFR 35.663 and intertribal consortia that meet the requirements in 40 CFR 35.504.
CONTENTS BY SECTION:
I. Funding Opportunity Description
II. Award Information
III. Eligibility Information
IV. Application and Submission Information
V. Application Review Information
VI. Award Administration
VII. Agency Contact
I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
A. Program History.
Pollution Prevention Information Network (PPIN) grants support Technical Assistance Programs (TAPs) which assist businesses and industries in identifying better environmental strategies for reducing or eliminating waste and conserving natural resources. EPA started this grant program in 1997 to improve the coordination, development and promotion of P2 information for TAPs. Over the past ten years, the PPIN grant program has funded eight regional centers that created a national network called the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx). In some cases P2 information developed by one grantee in response to local geographic or regulatory needs can be successfully used in other locations.
This grant program is distinct from the P2 grant program (www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/index.htm) because these funds support regional centers that work beyond their state's boundaries, collaborate nationally in the promotion of standardized P2 information products and support state and local programs that want to report their activities and environmental outcomes in the National P2 Results Data System. For more information about this grant program refer to this web page: www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/ppin/ppin.htm.
An evaluation of this grant program was conducted in 2007-2008 to assess the effectiveness of this program in promoting the adoption of P2 practices. The complete evaluation is posted at: www.epa.gov/evaluate/pdf/PPIN-EvalReport.pdf Figure 1-1 in this report provides a generic P2 information dissemination logic model. This logic model illustrates examples of activities, outputs and outcomes for PPIN applications.
The evaluation includes several conclusions that supported the ongoing work of the PPIN grantees. The report noted:
- "The existence of a national network makes it possible for the centers to deliver more and better information to their customers, as the centers can focus on unique regional needs while tapping into national resources."
- "The centers appear to be providing some of the right products, services and content to businesses to promote P2."
- "The TAP/center interaction worked well, leveraging resources and expertise to effectively serve the end user."
- "The fact that the centers were a neutral, non-regulatory entity encouraged businesses to seek them out."
B. New Initiatives FY 2009.
Promote P2 approaches to address Agency priorities. Proposed activities must promote P2 practices in one or more of the following areas: 1) reducing or eliminating greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions; 2) improving sustainability of processes by reducing or eliminating the use of toxics and/or hazardous material; or 3) conserving natural resources. Proposed activities could promote P2 practices in a variety of ways, such as: convening discussions on P2 information needs of small/medium sized business and/or state technical assistance providers, providing training in specific practices or general principles of P2, or organizing conferences.
Climate change has taken on a new sense of urgency. Pollution Prevention practices, including energy conservation, provide effective strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere. Some GHGs, such as carbon dioxide, occur naturally and are emitted to the atmosphere through natural processes and human activities. Other GHGs (e.g., fluorinated gases) are created and emitted solely through human activities. Pollution prevention approaches can be used to reduce or eliminate the emission of greenhouse gasses.
A variety of P2 approaches and tools can be applied to improve the sustainability of processes, such as: reduction or elimination of toxics use in manufacture or product design; materials management; or environmentally preferable purchasing. For purposes of this grant program, EPA defines toxics use and hazardous materials reduction as systematic changes that take place in the line production process or in the use of raw materials for the purpose of significantly reducing or eliminating the use of toxics or hazardous substances or the generation of hazardous by-products in an effort to reduce risks to public health and the environment. Promoting the use of P2 methods to reduce the use of energy, water or raw materials would also promote resource conservation.
EPA's Draft Pollution Prevention Program Strategic Plan has recently been released for public comment. This Draft Strategy focuses on six sectors in particular for promoting P2 practices: Agriculture; Chemical and Manufacturing Industries; Buildings and Construction; Electronics; Hospitality; and Municipalities and Institutions. Many P2 approaches can be applied in a variety of sectors. Centers may choose to meet the criterion of promoting P2 through a particular focus on one or more of these sectors.
Collaborate on National P2 Information Needs. Applications must discuss activities that promote collaboration within a region and among regional centers, such as: conference calls, webinars, joint meetings, sharing expertise or other services nationwide. Collaboration promotes exchange of new information and technologies, reduces duplication of effort, and creates an infrastructure that supports efforts to imprfove human health and environmental outcomes.
Examples of current collaborations include:
- A Tribal Portal website (www.tribalp2.org/) coordinated by the Peaks to Prairies center.
- Two regional centers collaborating on webinars provided to a nationwide audience (pprc.org/webinars/2009webinars.cfm).
- The P2Rx network support of the National P2 Results Data System (p2rx.org/services/measurement.cfm)
Measure Effectiveness of Activities. Applications must describe how outcomes will be measured and an approach to develop consistent measurements across all Regions. Only by measuring short-term or intermediate outcomes can a grantee demonstrate the effectiveness of their information activities. At a training or conference it is relatively easy to document audience response. However, documenting the impact of information retrieved from a web site is more difficult.
A logic model is used to depict a causal link between the grant activities, P2 information products and outcomes that can be measured. The generic P2 information dissemination logic model shows examples of short-term and intermediate outcomes that can be measured to demonstrate the effectiveness of P2 information dissemination activities (www.epa.gov/evaluate/pdf/PPIN-EvalReport.pdf). The requirement for reporting environmental outcomes under EPA assistance agreements is discussed further in Section I.C.4.
Applications should include some measurement activities that could be shared with other centers, so a uniform approach to documenting effectiveness can be applied in all Regions. Examples of outcome measurement approaches are: customer surveys, pre- and post-test during training, or follow-up with customers. Case studies can also be used to help establish causality by linking PPIN grant activities to customer outcomes. These measures provide a basis for program evaluation.
EPA continues to encourage State and Local technical assistance programs to use the National P2 Results Data System. Regional centers should facilitate outreach and training on the use of this system. State and Local government programs can use this system to document their progress in achieving environmental results.
C. EPA Grant Requirements
Statutory Authority in the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA). Authority for this grant program is provided by Congress under Section 6605 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-508). EPA shall consider whether grant outcomes under the PPIN program accomplish the following (See PPA Section 6605(b)):
"Make specific technical assistance available to businesses seeking information about source reduction opportunities, including funding for experts to provide on-site technical advice to businesses seeking assistance and to assist in the development of source reduction plans.
Target assistance to businesses for whom lack of information is an impediment to source reduction.
Provide training in source reduction techniques."
Supplemental Information. The statutory authority for this action is Section 6605 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, which authorizes the award of grants to States, State entities (i.e. universities), Federally-recognized Tribes and Intertribal Consortia for projects that promote the use of pollution prevention/source reduction techniques by businesses. State and Tribal applicants and recipients of P2 Grants are subject to 40 CFR Parts 31 (Uniform Administrative Requirements for Assistance Agreements to State, local and Federally-Recognized Tribal Governments), 34 (Restrictions on Lobbying) and 35 (Environmental Program Grants for States and Tribes), as applicable.
What is Pollution Prevention (P2)? Pollution prevention is often used in place of the term source reduction. Source reduction is defined in the PPA as meaning any practice which:
"Reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment or disposal; and
Reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants or contaminants.
The term includes equipment or technology modifications, process or procedure modifications, reformulation or redesign of products, substitution of raw materials, and improvements in housekeeping, maintenance, training or inventory control.'
The term pollution prevention has been further described in EPA policy (www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/p2policy/policy.htm) as also including the protection of natural resources through conservation or increased efficiency in the use of energy, water, or other materials.
Linkage to EPA Strategic Plan. Applications under this project support EPA's 2006-2011 Strategic Plan's Goal 5: Objective 5.2: Improve Environmental Performance Through Pollution Prevention and Other Stewardship, Sub-Objective 5.2.1: Prevent Pollution and Promote Environmental Stewardship. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/cfo/plan/2006/entire_report.pdf. The specific environmental outcomes for this sub-objective include: reductions in pounds of hazardous waste materials; reduction, conservation or offset of British Thermal Units (BTUs); reductions in gallons of water used; and dollars saved through pollution prevention improvements in businesses. Applications must describe how the activities and outputs are linked to these outcomes.
Anticipated Outcomes and Outputs are Required in all Applications. Pursuant to Section 6a of EPA Order 5700.7, "Environmental Results under EPA Assistance Agreements," EPA requires that grant recipients adequately describe environmental outputs and environmental outcomes to be achieved under assistance agreements (see EPA Order 5700.7, Environmental Results Under Assistance Agreements ( www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/award/5700.7.pdf ). Outputs and outcomes differ both in their nature and in how they are measured. A generic P2 information dissemination logic model can be found in figure 1-1 in this report (www.epa.gov/evaluate/pdf/PPIN-EvalReport.pdf). Applicants should identify the relevant environmental outputs and environmental outcomes of their projects in their applications.
Environmental Outputs. The term "output" means an environmental activity, effort and/or associated work products related to an environmental goal or objective that will be produced or provided over a period of time or by a specified date. Outputs may be quantitative or qualitative but must be measurable during an assistance agreement funding period. Some examples of environmental outputs from PPIN grants include, but are not limited to: creation and maintenance of web sites, workshops or training, marketing materials promoting the adoption or awareness of P2 practices, P2 information products (electronic or hardcopy), P2 case studies and assistance provided to individual clients via telephone, email, or on-site visits.
Environmental Outcomes. The term "outcome" means the result, effect, or consequence that will occur from carrying out an environmental program or activity that is related to an environmental or programmatic goal or objective. Outcomes may be knowledge or attitude-based, behavioral, health-related, or environmental in nature, and ultimately reflect improvements in environmental or environmentally-based health-risk conditions. Examples of outcomes include, but are not limited to: changes in environmental conditions or reductions in pollutant releases. Outcomes may not necessarily be fully achievable within an assistance agreement funding period, but they should be quantifiable.
Short-term Outcomes reflect changes in learning, knowledge, attitude, skills, or understanding. Examples of PPIN grant short-term outcomes for technical assistance providers are increased access to P2 information and improvements in delivery of P2 information to clients. Examples of PPIN grant short-term outcomes for end users would be increased awareness of P2 options and increased understanding of how to implement P2 options. These short-term outcomes should be reported during the project period.
Intermediate Outcomes reflect changes in behavior, practice, or decisions, which are the foundations of pollution prevention and environmental stewardship. Intermediate outcomes are expected to lead to beneficial long-term outcomes. An intermediate outcome for technical assistance providers could be increased capacity to provide P2 resources and services to end users. An intermediate outcome for end users could be implementation of P2 plans and practices. Some of these intermediate outcomes may be reported during the project period and some may occur after the end of the project period.
Long-term Outcomes reflect changes in environmental conditions. These long-term outcomes are the desired end or ultimate results of a project or program. They represent results that lead to environmental or public health improvement. A long-term outcome of the P2 information network activities could be a reduction in hazardous waste or conservation of water resources. These long-term outcomes will most likely result from program activities outside of a given project period.
II. AWARD INFORMATION
A. What Is the Amount of Funding Available?
The total estimated funding expected to be available for awards under this competitive opportunity is approximately $800,000. This amount is dependent on the Congressional appropriations for this program and the quality of applications received.
B. Partial Funding.
In appropriate circumstances, EPA reserves the right to partially fund applications by funding discrete portions or phases of proposed projects. If EPA decides to partially fund a application, it will do so in a manner that does not prejudice any applicants or affect the basis upon which the application or portion there of was evaluated and selected for award, and therefore maintains the integrity of the competition and selection process.
To be considered for partial funding, the applicant's Work Plan must have clearly delineated tasks that include separate budget estimates for each task or phase of the project. The completed application package must include a budget that estimates the costs for labor (by labor category), fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractors, and for other direct costs and indirect costs. The budget must itemize these costs under each task identified in the Work Plan as well as for the entire proposed project, and must identify the activities (and corresponding estimated costs) covered by the match of 50 percent or more of the total allowable project cost.
C. How Many Agreements Will EPA Award in this Competition?
EPA anticipates awarding up to approximately eight cooperative agreements under this announcement ranging in value from approximately $80,000 to $115,000 per year, subject to the availability of funds and quality of evaluated applications. In the previous decade, between seven to nine cooperative agreements have been awarded in the range of $50,000 to $129,000 per year.
EPA reserves the right to make additional awards under this announcement, consistent with Agency policy, if additional funding becomes available after the original selections. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than six months from the date of original selection date.
D. What Is the Project Period for Awards Resulting from this Solicitation?
The project period for awards resulting from this solicitation will be up to two years (24 months). The estimated date for awards resulting from this solicitation will begin in October 2009.
E. Funding Type.
The funding for selected projects will be in the form of a cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements permit substantial involvement between the EPA Project Officer and the selected applicants in the performance of the work supported. Although EPA will negotiate precise terms and conditions relating to substantial involvement as part of the award process, the anticipated substantial Federal involvement for this project will be: close monitoring of the successful applicant's performance to verify the results proposed by the applicant; collaborating during performance of the scope of work; in accordance with 40 C.F.R. 31.36(g), approving qualifications of key personnel (EPA will not select employees or contractors employed by the award recipient); and reviewing and commenting on reports prepared under the cooperative agreement (the final decision on the content of reports rests with the recipient).
F. Funding Restrictions.
Grant funds may only be used for the purposes set forth in the grant agreement and must be consistent with the statutory authority in Section 6605 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Grant funds may not be used for matching funds for other Federal grants, lobbying, or intervention in Federal regulatory or adjudicatory proceedings. In addition, Federal funds may not be used to sue the Federal government or any other government entity. All costs identified in the budget must conform to applicable Federal cost principles contained in OMB Circular A-87; A-122; and A-21, as appropriate. EPA will subtract proposed ineligible costs from the final approved budget if a grant is awarded.
G. Amending This Solicitation.
EPA reserves the right to amend this solicitation as necessary. Amendments could be administrative (such as changes in dates), technical (such as a change in requirements), or fiscal. If this need occurs, EPA will post the amended solicitation at the same location as this announcement (www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/index.htm) and the amendment will also be posted on www.grants.gov.
III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
A. Eligible Entities.
Eligible applicants include the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, any agency or instrumentality of a State including State universities, and Federally-recognized Indian Tribes that meet the requirement for treatment in a manner similar to a State in 40 CFR 35.663 and Intertribal Consortia that meet the requirements in 40 CFR 35.504. For convenience, the term "State" in this notice refers to all eligible applicants. Foreign governments, local governments, private universities, non-profit organizations, private businesses, and individuals are not eligible for funding.
B. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirements.
Recipients of assistance agreements under Section 6605 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 must provide at least 50 percent of the total allowable project cost. For example, a project costing $230,000 could be funded by a grant for up to $115,000 from the Federal government. The recipient is responsible for funding the other half ($115,000) of the project cost. Recipient contributions may include dollars, in-kind goods and services, and/or third party contributions consistent with 40 CFR 31.24. The application must contain a detailed budget showing how the cost will be matched with non-Federal dollars or in-kind goods and services. Applications that do not show this will not be considered.
C. Threshold Eligibility Criteria.
Applications must meet the following requirements at the time of submission or they will be eliminated from consideration for funding. Only applications that meet the criteria in Sections III A, B, C, and D will be evaluated against the ranking factors in Section V of this announcement. Applications must be from eligible entities and demonstrate at least 50 percent cost share and meet the criteria listed below. Applicants deemed ineligible for funding based on these threshold eligibility criteria will be notified within 15 calendar days.
- Applications must relate grant activities to the purposes listed under Section 6605 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 and described in Section I.C.1.
- Proposed activities must meet EPA's definition of pollution prevention described in Section I.C.2.
- Applications must specify outputs and outcomes as described in Section I.C.4 and link these outcomes to Goal 5 of EPA's Strategic Plan, Sub-objective 5.2.1 "prevent pollution and promote environmental stewardship" as noted in Section I.C.3.
Project Period and Cost. EPA will reject applications that have a project period longer than 24 months (two years). Applications may not seek more than $115,000 per year in Federal funds.
D. Submission Requirements.
Applications must comply. Applications must substantially comply with the application submission instructions and requirements set forth in Section IV of this announcement or they will be rejected. If a application exceeds the page limit expressed in Section IV, pages in excess of the page limitation will not be reviewed.
Submission of applications. Applications must be submitted for delivery (as shown on receipt or waybill), postmarked or received through email by email@example.com on or before the application submission deadline published in Section IV of this announcement. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their application reaches the designated person/office specified in Section IV of the announcement by the submission deadline.
IV. SUBMISSION AND APPLICATION INFORMATION
The grant application process is a two-step process involving a grant application, followed by a full application package. First, applicants submit application packages as described in more detail in Section D below. Those applications from eligible applicants that meet the threshold requirements described in Section III will then be evaluated based on the criteria in Section V. Second, eligible applications that merit further consideration for funding, based on the evaluation criteria provided in Section V, will advance to the second step of the application process, and those applicants will be contacted by the applicable Regional P2 program office and asked to prepare and submit a full application. Only those applicants who are asked to complete a full application will be considered for an award. Full applications include additional Federal forms and documentation. A full application should not be submitted at this time. The following section describes how to submit a grant application, including submission dates, application submission methods, and application content. Applicants are advised to carefully read through these instructions.
A. How to Obtain Application Package.
Applicants may download individual grant application forms from EPA's Office of Grants and Debarment website at: www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/how_to_apply.htm. To obtain a hard copy of materials, please send an email or written request to the Agency contact listed in Section VII of this announcement.
B. Submission Dates and Times.
The deadline for submission of hard copy application packages is May 1, 2009; All hard copies of application packages must be submitted for delivery (as shown on receipt or waybill) or postmarked by May 1, 2009 in order to be considered for funding.
Electronic submissions must be received by firstname.lastname@example.org on May 1, 2009, 11:59 p.m., EDT. Applications received after the closing date and time will not be considered for funding. Final (full) grant applications will be requested only from those eligible entities whose applications have been tentatively selected for award. Additional instructions for final application packages will be provided when the applicant is notified of the tentative selection.
C. How to Submit Applications.
Applicants have the option to submit their applications in one of two ways: 1) Hard copy by express delivery service or the US postal service, or 2) electronic submission. All applications must be prepared, and include the information as described in Section D below, regardless of mode of transmission.
Hard Copy Submission. Because of the unique situation involving U.S. mail screening, EPA highly recommends that applicants use an express mail option to submit their application packages. If submitting a hardcopy application through an express delivery service, the package must show it was submitted for delivery (as shown on receipt or waybill) or postmarked by May 1, 2009, and an email alerting EPA to expect the application should be sent to: email@example.com Please provide one original of the application package (including signed and completed SF 424 and SF 424A forms) and one copy (preferably double-sided)--no binders or spiral binding--to:
Express Delivery Address (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1201 Constitution Ave. NW
EPA-East, Room 5213
ATTN: Beth Anderson (Mail Code 7409M)
Washington, DC 20004.
Phone: (202) 546-8833 or (202) 564-8800
Hardcopy applications sent by regular US Postal Service should be addressed to:
Pollution Prevention Division (MC-7409M) USEPA
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW,
Washington, DC 20460-0001.
If submitting a hardcopy application through the US Postal Service, the package must be postmarked by May 1, 2009 and an email alerting EPA to expect the application should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The complete application may be submitted electronically to email@example.com no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 1, 2009.
D. Application Length and Format.
All applications should be no longer than 20 pages and formatted for 8 ½" x 11" paper with margins at least one-half inch wide and single spaced. The Federal forms and appendices, such as resumes, letters of support, and indirect cost agreement will not count toward the 20 page limit. Electronic files must be readable in Adobe Acrobat PDF, MS Word or Word Perfect versions: 6, 7, or 8 for Windows in English. Full application packages should not be submitted at this time. Applicants who submit applications that merit further consideration for funding based on the evaluation criteria, provided in Section V will be contacted and instructed to submit a complete application package.
E. Application Package Content.
Regardless of mode of submission, the following forms (found at www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/application.htm) and documents are required under this announcement:
- Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424)
- Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A)
- EPA Key Contacts (Form 5700-54)
- Project Application (Section I C and Section IV.E.4)
- Budget Narrative (Detailed Budget)
- Other attachments: Letters of Support and Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement
Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance. Complete the form. There are no attachments. Please note that the organizational Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be included on the SF-424. Organizations may obtain a DUNS number at no cost by calling the toll-free DUNS number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or visit the web site at http://www.dnb.com. Instructions for obtaining a DUNS number may also be found at the following website: www.Grants.Gov/GetStarted.
SF-424A, Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs. Complete the form. There are no attachments. If indirect costs are included, the amount of indirect costs should be entered on line 6(j). The indirect cost rate (i.e., a percentage), the base (e.g., personnel costs and fringe benefits), and the amount should also be indicated on line 22. If indirect costs are requested, a copy of the Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement must be submitted as part of the application package.
EPA Form 5700-54, Key Contacts Form. Complete the form. There are no attachments.
The Project Application should include:
- a description of how the tasks meet EPA grant requirements (Section I C) and
- a work plan describing programmatic capability, environmental results (outputs and outcomes for each task), work plan tasks, partnerships and budget.
Description of How Tasks Meet EPA Grant Requirements (Section I C). The proposed activities must provide services and grant outcomes related to the purposes listed under Section 6605 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 and meet EPA's definition of pollution prevention. The outcomes of the applications must support EPA's 2006-2011 Strategic Plan's Goal 5: Objective 5.2: Improve Environmental Performance Through Pollution Prevention and Other Stewardship, Sub-Objective 5.2.1: Prevent Pollution and Promote Environmental Stewardship. The application should describe environmental outcomes related to the proposed activites and outputs.
The Work Plan. The work plan should describe programmatic capability, environmental results (outputs and outcomes for each task), work plan tasks, partnerships, and a quality assurance narrative statement
Programmatic Capability. (See Section V.A.1) The applicant shall: Submit a list of federally funded assistance agreements (assistance agreements include Federal grants and cooperative agreements but not Federal contracts) similar in size, scope and relevance to the proposed project that your organization performed within the last three years (no more than 5, and preferably EPA agreements) and describe (i) whether, and how, you were able to successfully complete and manage those agreements and (ii) your history of meeting the reporting requirements under those agreements including submitting acceptable final technical reports.
In evaluating applicants under these factors in Section V, EPA will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources, including information from EPA files and from current and prior Federal agency grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information provided by the applicant). If you do not have any relevant or available past performance or reporting information, please indicate this in the proposal and you will receive a neutral score for these factors under Section V. If you do not provide any response for these items, you may receive a score of 0 for these factors.
In addition, provide information on your organizational experience and plan for timely and successfully achieving the objectives of the proposed project, and your staff expertise/qualifications, staff knowledge, and resources or the ability to obtain them, to successfully achieve the goals of the proposed project.
Environmental Past Performance. Applications should describe progress in achieving expected results under other Federal assistance agreements. Submit a list of federally funded assistance agreements (assistance agreements include Federal grants and cooperative agreements but not Federal contracts) that your organization performed within the last three years (no more than 5, and preferably EPA agreements), and describe how you documented and/or reported on whether you were making progress towards achieving the expected results (e.g., outputs and outcomes) under those agreements. If you were not making progress, please indicate whether, and how, you documented why not.
In evaluating applicants under this factor in Section V, EPA will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources, including information from EPA files and from current and prior Federal agency grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information provided by the applicant). If you do not have any relevant or available environmental results past performance information, please indicate this in the application and you will receive a neutral score for this factor under Section V. If you do not provide any response for this item, you may receive a score of 0 for this factor.
(See Sections I.C.4 and V.A.2) Applications should demonstrate the effectiveness of center services (Section I.B.2) based on a logic model that relates work plan tasks to the products or services (outputs) and changes in client awareness or behavior (outcomes). Applications must include a plan to track and measure outputs and outcomes and describe:
Outputs for Each Task. Web sites, workshops or trainings are examples of center activities that can be targeted for specific audiences or clients. Applications should describe how the audience reached with a specific activity will be documented. Possible means of documenting audience reach are: keeping a record of who contacts the center (via email, phone, or training), cookies on web sites or surveys following training. Examples of audience characterization include: end users who use the P2 information or intermediate users who pass on the information to other clients.
Expected Environmental Outcomes. Logic models can be used to show the relationship between the center's activities, the audience targeted and the expected short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes. Examples of environmental outcomes include, but are not limited to: increased awareness or understanding of P2 options or implementation of P2 plans and practices by end users. Technical assistance providers may note an increased capacity to provide P2 resources and services to end users. Outcomes may be measured through client feedback by surveys, case studies, or focus groups. Grantees should follow standardized procedures documenting the outcomes, which are related to the effectiveness of the services or products provided.
Work Plan Tasks.
As described in Section I.B, work plan tasks must address these three areas:
- Promote P2 approaches to address Agency priorities,
- Collaborate on national P2 information needs, and
- Measure effectiveness of activities.
Proposed activities could promote P2 practices in a variety of ways, such as: convening discussions on P2 information needs, providing training in specific practices or general principles of P2, or organizing conferences (for further explanation see Section I.B.1). The work plan should identify the P2 tools and approaches and possible sectors that will be addressed.
Current PPIN grantees communicate among themselves and provide unique areas of expertise that are used nationwide through collaboration. Applications must discuss activities that promote collaboration within a region and among regional centers, such as: conference calls, webinars, joint meetings, sharing expertise or other services nationwide. The work plan should describe activities dedicated to maintaining current, timely, peer-reviewed P2 information products (such as Topic Hubs, P2 Results, or the national directory of P2 programs) and supporting the National P2 Results Data System. Applications must also describe how outcomes will be measured and how some measurements could be consistent among all of the centers.
Use of Grant Funds for Surveys. Surveys of more than 10 people (and using the same questions) conducted using grant funds are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (5 CFR 1320). EPA staff will work with grantees to obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance for customer satisfaction surveys. Any surveys conducted under PPIN grants, or where EPA appears to be conducting or sponsoring the collection of information, are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Grantees may carry out their own survey or documentation without EPA grant funding. Grantees can also collect: facts or opinions submitted in response to general solicitations of comments, provided that no person is required to supply specific information pertaining to the commenter, other than that necessary for self-identification; examinations designed to test aptitude, abilities or knowledge; and information necessary to identify a respondent, such as web site registration (See 5 CFR 1320.3(h)).
Partnerships. The work plan describes the role of partnerships and the funding, staffing, in-kind services or other resources provided by the partner. The application includes letters of support from an official within the organization, confirming their specific contributions to the project.
A Letter of Support: clearly states the intent of the partner, who will be actively engaged in the project by contributing cash or in-kind services to the project. A Letter of Recommendation documents approval of a project and does not include language concerning an individual's or an association's involvement on the project. Under this competition, EPA will only consider Letters of Support.
Utilize a Quality Assurance Protocol in Collection of Measurements. EPA currently requires all grantees of assistance agreements which involve measurement, or include information obtained from other sources, such as databases or web site logs, to submit a Quality Management Plan (QMP) prepared in accordance with the specifications provided in EPA requirements (see www.epa.gov/ogd/grants/assurance.htm) or documentation determined by EPA to be equivalent. Applicants should allow sufficient time and resources for this process in their proposed projects. If your organization does not have a Quality Management System in place, one must be developed. Applicants for the FY 2008 Pollution Prevention Information Network Grant Program are not required to submit a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) as part of the application package; however, each grant award will contain a condition establishing a deadline for the grantee to submit acceptable quality assurance documentation to EPA.
Grants awarded under this program will require the recipient to submit Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs) to EPA for review and approval by the EPA Project Officer and EPA Quality Assurance Manager before undertaking any work involving environmental measurements or data generation. QAPPs shall be prepared using EPA Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans (QA/R-5) (EPA 2001) www.epa.gov/quality1/qatools.html
Budget Narrative. In addition to Standard Form 424A, provide a detailed budget that includes the cost of at least the following areas: personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contracts, other expenses, income, total direct costs, and total indirect costs. The budget should show separate columns for EPA funds and non-Federal matching funds. The budget narrative should justify equipment for the project and describe how contractual or sub-grant funds will be used. The narrative shall provide an approximation of the percentage or dollar amount and full time equivalent (FTE) designated for each work plan task. The budget will be evaluated to determine the adequacy of the funding for the proposed work plan.
Management Fees. When formulating budgets for applications/applications, applicants must not include management fees or similar charges in excess of the direct costs and indirect costs at the rate approved by the applicant's audit agency, or at the rate provided for by the terms of the agreement negotiated with EPA. The term "management fees or similar charges" refers to expenses added to the direct costs in order to accumulate and reserve funds for ongoing business expenses, unforeseen liabilities, or for other similar costs that are not allowable under EPA assistance agreements. Management fees or similar charges may not be used to improve or expand the project funded under this agreement, except to the extent authorized as a direct cost of carrying out the scope of work.
Compensation for Consultants. The use of EPA financial assistance compensation for consultants is limited to the daily equivalent of the rate paid to Federal employees at the ES-IV level (see 40 CFR Sections 30.27(b) or 31.36(j), as applicable).
- Other Attachments. The following information should be included with the application package as appendices and will not count against the 20 page limit for the project narrative.
Letters of Support. The work plan describes the role of partnerships and the funding, staffing, in-kind services or other resources provided by the partner. Letters of support addressed to the applicant are included as appendices to the application and are not considered in the 20 page limit.
Indirect Cost Rate Agreement, if applicable. You must submit a copy of your organization's Indirect Cost Rate Agreement as part of the application package if your proposed budget includes indirect costs.
F. Intergovernmental Review.
This program may be eligible for coverage under Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs" and 40 CFR Part 29. 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. If the State has not selected the program for review or the State does not have a single point of contact, applicants must coordinate directly with affected State, area-wide, regional, and local entities. If the applicant does not know who their single point of contact is, they are advised to call the EPA Headquarters Grant Policy Information and Training Branch at 202-564-5325 or refer to the State Single Point of Contact web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/. Federally-recognized Tribal governments are not required to comply with this procedure.
G. Other Information
Pre-application/Application Communications and Assistance. In accordance with EPA's Competition Policy of January 11, 2005 (EPA Order 5700.5A1; www.epa.gov/ogd/competition/5700_5A1.pdf) EPA staff will not meet with individual applicants to discuss draft applications, provide informal comments on draft applications, or provide advice to applicants on how to respond to ranking criteria. Applicants are responsible for the contents of their applications. EPA will respond to questions in writing (to firstname.lastname@example.org) from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the application, and requests for clarification about the announcement. Please type "PPIN question" in the subject line of your email.
Confidential Business Information. In accordance with 40 CFR 2.203, applicants may claim all or a portion of their application as confidential business information. EPA will evaluate confidential claims in accordance with 40 CFR Part 2. Applicants must clearly mark applications or portions of applications they claim as confidential. If no claim of confidentiality is made, EPA is not required to make the inquiry to the applicant otherwise required by 40 CFR 2.204 (c)(2) prior to disclosure. However, competitive applications/applications are considered confidential and protected from disclosure prior to the completion of the competitive selection process.
Can Funding Be Used for the Applicant to Make Subawards, Acquire Contract Services or Fund Partnerships?
EPA awards funds to one eligible applicant as the recipient even if other eligible applicants are named as partners or co-applicants or members of a coalition or consortium. The recipient is accountable to EPA for the proper expenditure of funds and reporting progress and results under the assistance agreement. Funding may be used to provide subgrants or subawards of financial assistance, which includes using subawards or subgrants to fund partnerships, provided the recipient complies with applicable requirements for subawards or subgrants including those contained in 40 CFR Parts 30 or 31, as appropriate. Applicants must compete contracts for services and products, including consultant contracts, and conduct cost and price analyses to the extent required by the procurement provisions of the regulations at 40 CFR Parts 30 or 31, as appropriate. The regulations also contain limitations on consultant compensation. Applicants are not required to identify subawardees/subgrantees and/or contractors (including consultants) in their application/application. However, if they do, the fact that an applicant selected for award has named a specific subawardee/subgrantee, contractor, or consultant in the application/application EPA selects for funding does not relieve the applicant of its obligations to comply with subaward/subgrant and/or competitive procurement requirements as appropriate. Please note that applicants may not award sole source contracts to consulting, engineering or other firms assisting applicants with the application solely based on the firm's role in preparing the application/application.
Successful applicants cannot use subgrants or subawards to avoid requirements in EPA grant regulations for competitive procurement by using these instruments to acquire commercial services or products from for-profit organizations to carry out its assistance agreement. The nature of the transaction between the recipient and the subawardee or subgrantee must be consistent with the standards for distinguishing between vendor transactions and subrecipient assistance under Subpart B Section .210 of OMB Circular A-133 , and the definitions of subaward at 40 CFR 30.2(ff) or subgrant at 40 CFR 31.3, as applicable. EPA will not be a party to these transactions. Applicants acquiring commercial goods or services must comply with the competitive procurement standards in 40 CFR Part 30 or 40 CFR Part 31.36 and cannot use a subaward/subgrant as the funding mechanism.
How Will an Applicant's Proposed Subawardees/Subgrantees and Contractors be Considered During the Evaluation Process Described in Section V of the Announcement?
Section V of the announcement describes the evaluation criteria and evaluation process that will be used by EPA to make selections under this announcement. During this evaluation, except for those criteria that relate to the applicant's own qualifications, past performance, and reporting history, the review panel will consider, if appropriate and relevant, the qualifications, expertise, and experience of:
An Applicant's Named Subawardees/Subgrantees identified in the application/application if the applicant demonstrates in the application/application that if it receives an award that the subaward/subgrant will be properly awarded consistent with the applicable regulations in 40 CFR Parts 30 or 31. For example, applicants must not use subawards/subgrants to obtain commercial services or products from for-profit firms or individual consultants.
- An Applicant's Named Contractor(s), including consultants, identified in the application/application if the applicant demonstrates in its application/application that the contractor(s) was selected in compliance with the competitive Procurement Standards in 40 CFR Part 30 or 40 CFR 31.36 as appropriate. For example, an applicant must demonstrate that it selected the contractor(s) competitively or that a proper non-competitive sole-source award consistent with the regulations will be made to the contractor(s), that efforts were made to provide small and disadvantaged businesses with opportunities to compete, and that some form of cost or price analysis was conducted. EPA may not accept sole source justifications for contracts for services or products that are otherwise readily available in the commercial marketplace. EPA will not consider the qualifications, experience, and expertise of named subawardees/subgrantees and/or named contractor(s) during the application/application evaluation process unless the applicant complies with these requirements.
V. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
A. Evaluation Criteria.
Only the applications meeting the threshold criteria in Section III will be evaluated against the criteria presented in this section. Applications will be evaluated based on the criteria below. Applicants should directly and explicitly address these criteria as part of their application submittal. Applications can receive a maximum score of 100. Each criterion includes a cross-reference to the section of this announcement that is relevant to that criterion:
Programmatic Capability (20 Points) Under this criterion, the Agency will evaluate:
(0-5 points) The extent and quality of the applicant's past performance in successfully completing and managing Federally-funded assistance agreements (assistance agreements include Federal grants and cooperative agreements but not Federal contracts) similar in size, scope, and relevance to the proposed project performed within the last 3 years.
(0-5 points) The extent of the applicant's history of meeting reporting requirements under Federally-funded assistance agreements (assistance agreements include Federal grants and cooperative agreements but not Federal contracts) similar in size, scope, and relevance to the proposed project performed within the last 3 years and submitting acceptable final technical reports under those agreements.
(0-5 points) The extent and quality of the applicant's organizational experience related to the proposed work plan tasks.
(0-5 points) The adequacy of the applicant's staff expertise/qualifications, staff knowledge, and resources or the ability to obtain them, to successfully achieve the goals of the proposed project.
Note: In evaluating applicants under these two criteria (a and b) the Agency will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources including Agency files and prior/current grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information supplied by the applicant). Applicants with no relevant or available past performance or reporting history on items a or b will receive a neutral score (2.5) for these two elements.
Environmental Results: Outputs, Outcomes and Past Performance (25 points) Under this criterion, the Agency will evaluate the following:
(0-10 points) The extent and quality of the proposed outputs and the approach to document the relationship between work plan tasks, outputs, and the audience impacted using a logic model showing the relationship between outputs and outcomes.
Examples of environmental outputs include: web sites, training, conferences, or P2 information products. The audience should be characterized as either end users (who use the P2 information) or intermediate users (who pass on the information to other clients).
(0-10 points) The extent and quality of the proposed outcomes and approach to document effectiveness of work plan tasks based on environmental outcomes.
Examples of environmental outcomes for PPIN grantees include but are not limited to: increased awareness or understanding of P2 options or implementation of P2 plans and practices by end users. Environmental outcomes for intermediate users of P2 information such as TAPs could be increased capacity to provide P2 resources and services to their clients.
(0-5 points) The extent and quality to which they adequately documented and/or reported on their progress towards achieving the expected results (e.g., outcomes and outputs) under Federal agency assistance agreements (assistance agreements include Federal grants and cooperative agreements but not Federal contracts) performed within the last three years, and if such progress was not being made whether the applicant adequately documented and/or reported why not.
Note: In evaluating applicants under this factor, 2c, EPA will consider the information provided by the applicant and may also consider relevant information from other sources including Agency files and prior/current grantors (e.g., to verify and/or supplement the information supplied by the applicant). Applicants with no relevant or available past performance reporting history will receive a neutral score for this factor (2.5 points).
Work Plan Tasks (35 points) Under this criterion, the Agency will evaluate the following:
(0-10 points) The extent and quality of the proposed activities to provide P2 approaches to address greenhouse gas reduction, sustainability, or reduction of toxics in selected sector focus areas. Proposed activities address: how P2 information needs will be determined, how services will be provided to meet those needs, and how the quality of the P2 information products will be ensured.
(0-10 points) The extent and quality of the proposed approach to: promote collaboration and communication within and outside EPA regions, and participate in collaborative efforts with other grantees to deliver P2 information services nationwide.
(0-10 points) The extent and quality of the proposed approach to measure effectiveness of the proposed activities, describing the desired outcomes and a quality assurance plan for how outcomes will be measured. The approach includes a collaborative effort supporting some uniform measures among all of the Regions. A logic model, case studies, or the National P2 Results Data System could be used to establish a causal link between P2 information services and environmental outcomes.
(0-5 points) The extent and quality of the timeframe and milestones provided for each proposed task.
Partnerships (10 points) Under this criterion the Agency will evaluate: the extent to which the application demonstrates an effective use of partnerships, outlines partner's staffing and financial or in-kind contributions to the application and provides letters of support documenting partner participation. Note that Federal funds cannot be used as match under this grant program.
Detailed Budget and Narrative (10 points) Under this criterion, the Agency will evaluate the budget narrative which should outline: personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contracts, other expenses, income, total direct costs, total indirect costs and indicate Federal and non-Federal matching funds in separate columns.
(0-5 points) The extent to which the detailed budget presents estimated costs (or percent of total budget) and funding source for each work plan task.
(0-5 points) The extent to which the costs are reasonable and necessary to accomplish the proposed outputs and outcomes.
B. Review and Selection Process.
Applications will first be evaluated against threshold factors listed in Section III. Only those applications which meet all the threshold factors will be evaluated using the criteria listed above. Each application will be given a numerical score and will be rank-ordered according to the numerical score. Preliminary funding recommendations will be provided to the Approving Official based on this ranking.
Final funding decisions will be made by the Approving Official, based on the rankings and preliminary recommendation of the EPA evaluation team. In making the final funding decisions, the Approving Official may also consider programmatic priorities (as reflected in the FY 2007 RFP for P2 Grants www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/ppis/2009rfpp2grant.html), availability of funds, geographic diversity, or duplication of effort with other ongoing projects. Once final decisions have been made, a funding recommendation will be developed and forwarded to the EPA Award Official.
VI. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
A. Award Notices.
Following EPA's evaluation of applications/applications, all applicants will be notified regarding their status. Final applications will be requested from those eligible entities whose application has been successfully evaluated and preliminarily recommended for award. Those entities will be provided with instructions and a due date for submittal of the final application package.
EPA Anticipates Notification to the Successful Applicant will be made, via telephone, electronic or postal mail within 180 days from the date applications are due. The notification will advise the applicant that its application has been successfully evaluated and recommended for award. The notification will be sent to the original signer of the Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance.
This notification, which advises that the applicant's application has been recommended for award, is not an authorization to begin performance. The award notice signed by the EPA grants officer is the authorizing document and will be provided through postal mail. At a minimum, this process can take at least 90 days from the date of recommendation.
EPA Anticipates Notification to Unsuccessful Applicant(s) will be made via electronic or postal mail within 180 days from the date applications are due. The notification will be sent to the original signer of the SF 424, Application for Federal Assistance.
B. Administrative and National Policy Requirement.
EPA Regulations. A listing and description of general EPA regulations applicable to the award of assistance agreements may be viewed at: www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/applicable_epa_regulations_and_description.htm.
Intergovernmental Review. Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs, may be applicable to awards resulting from this announcement. Applicants selected for funding may be required to provide a copy of their application to their State Point of Contact http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/ (SPOC) for review, pursuant to Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs. This review is not required with the initial application and not all States require such a review. (See Section IV.E).
Reimbursement Limitation. If the recipient expends more than the amount of funding in its EPA approved budget in anticipation of receiving additional funds from EPA, it does so at its own risk. EPA is not legally obligated to reimburse the recipient for costs incurred in excess of the EPA approved budget.
C. Reporting Requirement.
Funding recipients must complete six month and annual reports and provide a final report at the end of the grant period. Progress reports (six month and annual) must address the status of all objectives and activities in the application (including measures), and a statement of impacts and expenses. The final report shall be completed within 90 calendar days of the completion of the period of performance. The final report should encompass a complete overview/summary of all of the activities conducted within the grant project period. Specific financial, technical and other reporting requirements to measure the grant recipient's progress will be identified in the EPA grant award agreement. Reporting must be consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR 35.107, 35.115, and 35.515.
Data Access and Information Release: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. If such data are requested by the public, the EPA must ask for it, and the grantee must submit it, in accordance with A-110 and EPA regulations at 40 C.F.R. 30.36.
Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629- 3632 (January 26, 2005) located on the web at: www.epa.gov/ogd/competition/resolution.htm
VII. AGENCY CONTACT
A. All questions or comments must be communicated in writing via postal mail, facsimile, or electronic mail. For further information contact: Beth Anderson, Pollution Prevention Division (MC-7409M), USEPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001, telephone number: (202) 564-8833; fax number: (202) 564-8899; e-mail address: Anderson.Beth@epa.gov.
VIII. OTHER INFORMATION
A. Information about the current P2 information network grant program may be viewed at: www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/ppin/ppin.htm Information about the current P2Rx centers may be viewed at: www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/p2rx.html.
B. Exchange Network.
EPA, States, and local governments are working together to develop the National Environmental Information Exchange Network, a secure, Internet- and standards-based way to support electronic data reporting, sharing, and integration of both regulatory and non-regulatory environmental data. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and several previous PPIN grantees have developed the "National P2 Results Data System". More information on this system is available at: National P2 Results Data System: Background (PDF) - www.p2rx.org/measurement/info/FINAL_meas_background.pdf. More information on the Exchange Network is available at www.exchangenetwork.net.