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Pollution Prevention Internship Program -
2004 Request for Applications

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.


Pollution Prevention Internship Program
Solicitation Notice for FY '04 Request for Applications

OVERVIEW
Sponsoring Agency and Office: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics

Funding Opportunity Title: Pollution Prevention Internship Program

Announcement Type: Initial Announcement for Fiscal Year 2004.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 66.607

Proposal Submission Date: Proposals sent to EPA Headquarters must be received on or before September 17, 2004.

FULL TEXT OF ANNOUNCEMENT
I. Funding Opportunity Description.
In accordance with EPA's competition policy for awarding assistance agreements, the Agency is issuing a formal solicitation notice to fund an internship opportunity in EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). The Program Office expects to have approximately $70,000 available in fiscal year 2005 to fund 2 interns to support source reduction/pollution prevention and resource conservation activities in under served communities.

A. Background
The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) mission is to protect the nation's environment for the benefit of current and future citizens of the United States. EPA has an increasing need for well trained, qualified professionals with environmental policy background and experience with community based programs to support under served communities in policy development. At the same time, the ability of graduate students to secure hands-on experience in environmental policy making is getting more difficult. Innovative strategies must be implemented to ensure an adequate supply of highly trained, technical personnel for the accomplishment of environmental program development. The intent of this internship program is to train the future environmental managers who can work effectively with under served communities.

To meet this objective, the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics has created the opportunity to fund two full-time year long internships that provide hands-on training for graduate school students with experience in community development to work on pollution prevention, environmental justice, and tribal environmental policy issues. These internships will be housed within the Pollution Prevention Division and the Environmental Assistance Division to work on pollution prevention policy, environmental justice issues and pollution prevention enhancements for tribal governments.

Through their experience in developing countries, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are sensitive to the needs for environmental protection and outreach to under-served communities. Recognizing the unique resources offered by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, they will be given priority review for these internships.

B. Definitions.
The Pollution Prevention Act defines "source reduction" to mean 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.

Source reduction practices may include: 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 "source reduction" does not include any practice which alters the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics or the volume of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant through a process or activity which itself is not integral to and necessary for the production of a product or the providing of a service.

The term "pollution prevention" means source reduction, as defined under the Pollution Prevention Act, and other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through: increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water or other resources, or protection of natural resources through conservation.

II. Award Information.
With this notification, EPA is expecting to fund two grants. All awards shall be made through a competitive process for amounts equivalent of a GS 7, step 1 salary. This is the first year for awarding grants under this internship program . EPA Headquarters anticipates to award these grants by September 2004.

III. Eligibility Information
A. Eligible Applicants:
At a minimum, the applicant must be a citizen of the U.S. its territories or possessions, or lawfully admitted to the US for permanent residence. Applicants for this internship opportunity must be currently enrolled in an accredited academic Masters program of environmental science. The applicant must be able to receive academic credit from their university for a year long internship at EPA. Eligible applicants also need to have demonstrated experience in community development in a federally recognized program, such as Peace Corps. Applicant eligibility will be used as a pass/fail criterion when evaluating proposals.

B. Matching Requirements:
All fellowships are awarded directly to the individual students who are selected as fellows. There is not matching or cost sharing required of students awarded fellowships.


IV. Final Application and Submission Information
A. Address to Request Application Forms.
EPA, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics,
Pollution Prevention Division,
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Mail Code: 7409M,
Washington, D.C. 20460.

It is strongly recommended that selected applicants download applicable forms from the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/application.htm. For pre-application assistance for completing your application, or general inquiries about EPA's assistance programs, please contact EPA's Grants Administration Division at (202) 564-5305.

B. Content and Form of Proposal Packages
At a minimum, the initial proposal shall consist of the following items:

1. A cover sheet that identifies the Request for Proposal title and identification number, name and address of the applicant, point of contact, telephone number, e-mail address for the applicant, and the date of submission.

2. Documentation demonstrating that the applicant is enrolled in an accredited Masters program in environmental science. An official transcript from the university in which the applicant is currently enrolled.

3. Documentation demonstrating that the applicant has experience working in a Federally funded community development organization (such as a Statement from Peace Corps documenting their volunteer project).

4. A current resume or curriculum vitae.

5. A letter of recommendation from an academic advisor who knows the applicant well and can specifically discuss the student's aptitude and or experience for this internship. The Reference Letter should be included with the application package.

6. A one page proposal that describes what the applicant expects to accomplish during the year long internship, describe their academic and relevant experience that qualifies them to work with source reduction for under served communities, and how the internship supports their academic and professional goals.

C. Submission Date and Location
To be considered timely, initial proposals must be received by Close of Business on September 17, 2004 from the US Postal Service or other commercial delivery service.

Proposals submitted using the US Postal Service should be sent to Mr. Christopher Kent, Pollution Prevention Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, MC 7409M , Washington DC 20460. Initial proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

Proposals submitted using commercial delivery service should be sent to Mr. Christopher Kent, Pollution Prevention Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1201 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 5303 , Washington DC 20004.

D. Intergovernmental Review.
This assistant agreement program is not applicable for coverage under E.O. 12372 "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs" (and the review requirements of Section 204 of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act). Since the grants go to individuals and not state institutions, applicants are not required to comply with this procedure.

E. Funding Restrictions.
EPA is inviting applicants who have experience in providing technical assistance to under served communities and are pursuing a Masters degree in environmental policy.

F. Other Submission Requirements.
With regard to confidential disclosure - all applicants should clearly mark any information they consider confidential. EPA will make final confidentiality decisions in accordance with Agency regulations provided in 40 CFR. Part 2, Subpart B.

V. Application Review Information
A. Criteria:

The Criteria used to evaluate applicants include:

Administrative Review: All applications will be subject to an administrative review to ensure that they conform with the eligibility requirements of this RFA. EPA may reject any application that fails to conform substantially with the requirements of this RFA.

Relevance Review: Applicants found administratively acceptable will be subject to a review for relevancy to the Pollution Prevention Division's mission to promote source reduction. Applications may be rejected if they are found to lack relevance.

B. Review and selection process:
Evaluation Process: A panel comprised of EPA staff will evaluate each application that passes the administrative review, based upon the four criteria listed below

Past Work Experience - 35 points
- relevance of past work experience of applicant (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be given priority over other applicants).

Past and Current Academic Relevance - 35 points
- relevance of classroom experience of the applicant as it relates to the Pollution Prevention mission.

Interpersonal/cross cultural skills - 20 points.
- Leadership skills, written communication skills, and demonstrated success at working well in a multi-cultural environment.

Potential for success - 10 points
- potential for success, as reflected by academic records, letter of reference, and other relevant information.

C. Selection Process
EPA reserves the right to reject all proposals or applications and make no awards based upon funding availability. Any dispute will follow the process in accordance with 40 CFR 30.63 and Part 31, subpart F. All proposals must meet the eligibility requirements identified in section III. of this notice and submit all of the required documentation in section IV B.

Once applications have been screened for basic eligibility, each application will be evaluated on the 4 criteria identified in section V B.

VI. Award Administration Information.

A. Award Notices.
EPA anticipates that award notices will be issued by October 1, 2004. Under the Dispute Resolution Process, this assistant agreement shall function in accordance with 40 CFR 30.63 and Part 31 Subpart F.

Once a student has accepted a fellowship offer, the EPA staff will then send to the student an official Fellowship Application (EPA Form 5770-2)and instructions for completing the application. The application must be completed and returned to the EPA staff within 2 weeks of receipt in order to begin the processing of the paperwork required of all fellowships.

Students who are not selected for the 2004 fellowship will be notified by mail within 60 days after the final selections are made.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements.
Audits. Periodic audits should be made as part of the recipient's system of financial management and internal control to meet the terms and conditions of grants and other assistance agreements. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," non-federal entities that receive financial assistance of $300,000 or more within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made for that year. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," was published in the Federal Register on June 30, 1997. The Circular implements the Single Audit Act amendments of 1996. State agencies that receive less than $300,000 within the State's fiscal year shall have an audit made in accordance with Federal laws and regulations governing the programs in which they participate.

Records. Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records to substantiate charges to each assistance agreement, must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA assistance agreement accounts. All records must be maintained for three years from the date of submission of the annual financial status report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as a result of an audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

C. Reporting.
The recipient, along with the Project Officer, will develop a process for jointly evaluating and reporting progress and accomplishments. The reporting schedule requires the recipient to submit a report at the end of the project period to the Project Officer under 40 CFR 31.40 (b). In their report, recipients should provide discussion of accomplishments as measured against work plan commitments; a discussion of cumulative effectiveness of the work performed under all work plan components; a discussion of existing and potential problem areas; and suggestions for improvement, including where feasible, schedules for making improvements.

VII. Agency Contact
The primary contact for this RFA is Mr. Christopher Kent at:

US Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
MC 7409 M
Washington, DC 20460

Telephone: 202-564-8842
Fax - 202-564-8899
email: kent.christopher@epa.gov

VIII. Other Information
Questions: Questions should be submitted in writing by August 13, 2004. Do not attempt to seek information regarding this RFA from any source other than those identified in Section VII as the information provided may be erroneous. Questions that are considered significant will be answered via an amendment to this RFA.

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