Compliance Assistance_Support for Services to the Regulated Community and Other Assistance Providers

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To provide financial assistance to private nonprofit institutions, universities, and public agencies to develop projects to improve environmental compliance within an identified commercial/industrial sector. The funds are to be used to create compliance assistance tools utilizing industry and commercial communication channels to deliver the assistance tools. Funding Priority: In Fiscal Year 03/04, EPA will continue to support the ten Compliance Assistance Centers (Centers), a key component of EPA's efforts to help small and medium-sized businesses better understand and comply with Federal environmental requirements. For FY 2003, approximately $1.3 million will be used to support the Centers Programs. With this investment, the EPA plans to 1) provide compliance assistance to 475,000 entities, 2) continue to develop and improve the Compliance Assistance Center Platform (Platform) to launch new sector-specific, topical, or geographic Internet-based Centers. The Platform will support the 1) improvement or expansion of Platform tools and services; 2) development of new Centers; and 3) development and coordination of state regulatory compliance assistance material. In FY 2004, the EPA will request an increase of one million dollars to expand the Centers program. The FY 04 investment will support creation of three new Compliance Assistance Centers, improve and expand state-specific Centers information, and integrate the Centers with the "Business Compliance Assistance One-Stop" (One-Stop") (One-Stop) initiative. OECA will continue to support the existing Compliance Assistance Centers (Centers) and the Compliance Assistance Platform. In FY 2005, EPA will develop three new centers. Possible centers include plastics, fuels management, or marina/boat repair.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Funds are to be used to develop and communicate environmental compliance information applicable to the specific industrial or commercial sector for which financial assistance is awarded. It is expected that common communications channels used by the industry would be utilized and distributing the information to the targeted audience quickly. EPA funding must be used only for activities specified in the approved scope of work; discretionary funding will not be provided.

Who is eligible to apply...

Applicants must be nonprofit organizations as that term is defined in Section 4(6) of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, Public Law 96-107, 31 U.S.C. 6101 Note. Colleges, universities, and community colleges are eligible to apply. EPA will also accept applications from state, tribal and local governments. However, nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply. In addition, for profit organizations are not eligible to apply. For certain competitive funding opportunities, the Agency may limit eligibility to a particular subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's competition policy.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

EPA may request that applicants document their non profit status. The Agency may also request that applicants demonstrate they have appropriate background, experience in the field, organizational capacity and necessary equipment to carry out projects.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

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. EPA requires final applications to be made on Standard Form 424. Requests for application kits must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, Grants Administration Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Mailcode 3903R, Washington, D.C. 20460 or through the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help. Additional information on the EPA grant package can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/. Unsolicited applications must be submitted to the Grants Administration Division. Applicants are encouraged to submit copies of unsolicited proposals to EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Mailcode 2224A, Washington, D.C. 20460 at the same time. Requests for Initial Proposals or Requests for Applications will specify application procedures. Applicants will generally find a Notice of Available Funds published in the Federal Register from time to time and/or posted on the Agency's website at www.epa.gov/compliance/assistance/centers/indes.html. Initial and final applications should be sent to: Director, Office of Compliance (2221A), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20460.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

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 applications, proposals or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria in the solicitation/announcement of the competitive funding opportunity. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

Unsolicited proposals generally must be received prior to May 15 for funding in applicable fiscal year. For competitive awards, deadlines will be specified in Request for Applications or Request for Initial Proposals.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Preapplication Coordination

Applicants considering submitting unsolicited proposals should discuss proposed projects with or submit pre-applications to staff in the appropriate EPA technical program offices. When making competitive awards, EPA will specify the nature of the pre-application assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in the Requests for Initial Proposals or Requests for Applications. For information contacts, see Additional Contact Information - FMR Help. No formal or official governmental form is required for submitting the initial application. A Notice of Available Funds will be published in the Federal Register and/or announced on the Agency's web site at www.epa.gov/compliance/assistance/centers/index.html. The Notice will describe the request for initial proposal and final project proposal requirements for the grant. A contact name, phone and facsimile numbers, and e-mail address will be identified in the Federal Register and at the website. The contact person will be available for consultation and assistance to the prospective applicants. 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. See Appendix 1 for additional information regarding SPOC's. If there is no single point of contact for the state, or the state has not selected this program for review, applicants must contact directly affected state area-wide regional and local entities prior to award. (See 40 CFR 29.7(b).)

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

The primary beneficiary is the regulated community that is being serviced by the grantee. Other beneficiaries include state regulatory agencies, and citizens across the United States.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$93,000 to $165,000/year; $129,000/year.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

FY 03 $1,075,000; FY 04 est $1,328,800; and FY 05 est $2,275,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Past projects include the development of sector-specific websites providing a wide range of compliance assistance tools and resources. Tools developed include web sites, toll-free telephone assistance services, e-mail discussion groups, other interactive technologies, video/workbooks, satellite training, compliance audit checklists and guidebooks, compliance fact sheets assistance in implementing pollution prevention activities. The existing Center websites can be accessed at www.assistancecneters.net or www.epa.gov/compliance/assistance/centers/index.html.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

The EPA funded 12 Centers and Center Services under 7 cooperative agreements in FY 2003. Each Center addresses real world issues in language that speaks to the regulated entities. Through internet Websites, telephone assistance lines, fax-back systems, and e-mail discussion groups, the Centers are helping businesses, local governments, and federal facilities understand and comply with federal environmental requirements and save money through pollution prevention techniques. In FY2003, the Centers were visited over 869,000 times by their target audiences and the public,and experienced over 3 million requests for web pages and compliance assistance documents. Currently, the Centers are visited over 2,430 times a day by businesses, farms, government, the public, and other assistance providers. Center activity for FY2003 increased 29% from FY 2002. Center survey respondents expressed a high degree of satisfaction with Center services: (1) 90% of the assistance provider community strongly agreed or agreed that the Centers helped them understand regulations that apply to a sector, local government, or federal facility; (2) 85% of the regulated community respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the Centers helped them understand applicable environmental requirements; (3) 70% of the regulated entity respondents took one or more actions as a result of Center use. Actions ranged from contacting a regulatory agency, changing a process or practice to conducting a self audit; (4) 71% of the assistance provider community respondents took one or more actions as a result of Center use. Actions included: providing fact sheets or compliance guides; helping clients identify pollution prevention opportunities; and helping clients change processes or practices; (5) 35% of the survey respondents indicated a cost savings from actions taken as a result of using a Center; (6) 86% of the regulated community respondents and 79% of the assistance provider community respondents indicated an environmental improvement from actions taken as a result of using a Center.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Competitive applications and proposals will be selected in accordance with announced criteria. Non-competitive proposals are judged for (a) technical merit in terms of: (1) strengths and weaknesses of the project; (2) adequacy of overall project design; (3) competency of proposed staff; (4) suitability of applicant's available resources; (5) appropriateness of the proposed project period and budget; and (6) probability that the project will accomplish stated objectives; and, for (b) program interest in terms of: (1) the need for the proposed project; and (2) relationship to program objectives.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

EPA generally fund grants and cooperative agreements on a 12-month basis. However, EPA can negotiate the project period with each applicant based on project requirements. Incremental funding may be available. EPA generally limits project periods to 5 years. EPA will partially fund each budget period and will consider funding the balance of budget requests contingent upon satisfactory progress as certified by the EPA Project Officer, the availability of funds, and EPA priorities.

Formula and Matching Requirements

EPA's Appropriation Act requires that applicants submitting unsolicited research grant proposals share in the cost of conducting research. The amount of the cost share will be based on the mutuality of interest between the Government and the applicant. Applicants will be advised of other matching requirements, if any, in Requests for Applications or Requests for Initial Proposals. Although EPA may not require matching funds, applicants may be encouraged to provide information regarding resources (cash/in-kind services) that they would commit to manage a Compliance Assistance Center.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

Reporting requirements are identified at 40 CFR Parts 30 and 31. EPA may include additional information regarding the content and frequency of reporting requirements in the terms and conditions of the agreements.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

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 $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) 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 $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Solid Waste Disposal Act, Section 8001(a), as amended; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976; Public Law 94-580; 42 U.S.C. 6981.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Compliance Assistance Centers are subject to EPA's General Grant Regulations (40 CFR Part 30 and 40 CFR Part 31). Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments and Indian Tribes, OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions, OMB Circular No. A-122 for non-profit institutions, and FAR Part 31 for profit makers. Additional information pertinent to the Centers program can be found at www.assistancecenters.net. Centers brochures and/or fact-sheets can be obtained by calling the EPA Compliance Team Leader at (202) 564-2310.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Tracy Back, Compliance Centers Team Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-7076, Fax: (202) 564-0037, email:back.tracy@epa.gov. Hans Scheifele, Transportation Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-1459, Fax: (202) 564-0009, email: scheifele.hans@epa.gov. Hans Scheifele, Printed Wiring Board Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-1459, Fax: (202) 564-0009, email: scheifele.hans@epa.gov. Emily Chow, Chemical Manufacturing Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-7071, Fax: (202) 564-0037, email: chow.emily@epa.gov. Kenneth Harmon, Local Government Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-7049, Fax: (202) 564-0037, email: harmon.kenneth@epa.gov. Hans Scheifele, Metal Finishing Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-1459, Fax: (202) 564-0009, email: scheifele.hans@epa.gov. Hans Scheifele, Paints & Coatings Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-1459, Fax: (202) 564-0009, email: scheifele.hans@epa.gov. Hans Scheifele, Printing Industry Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-1459, Fax: (202) 564-0009, email: scheifele.hans@epa.gov. Hans Scheifele, Automotive Recycling Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-1459, Fax: (202) 564-0009, email: scheifele.hans@epa.gov. Hans Scheifele, Construction Center Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-1459, Fax: (202) 564-0009, email: scheifele.hans@epa.gov. Tracy Back, US/Mexico Border Environmental Issues Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-7076, Fax: (202) 564-0037, back.tracy@epa.gov. Tracy Back, Platform Development Lead, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Tele: (202) 564-7076, Fax: (202) 564-0037, back.tracy@epa.gov.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: