Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states, tribes, and territories are working together to develop a nationwide Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program. The Exchange Network is an Internet- and standards-based, secure information systems network among EPA and its partners. The Exchange Network is designed to support the electronic reporting and exchange of environmental data and information, facilitate the integration of data from different sources, and provide timely access to environmental data and information. Using the Exchange Network, EPA and its partners will ultimately be able to provide access to a wealth of environmental and health-related data collected by many different Federal, state, and local government agencies/departments and regulated facilities. EPA and its State partners are building nodes on the Exchange Network, which will provide an efficient and effective means for submitting and receiving data. These Exchange Network nodes will streamline data transactions among EPA and its partners and make it easier to identify and obtain the data needed for environmental decision-making and environmental program management. The Exchange Network Grant Program is designed to support efforts by states, territories, and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes to develop the information management and technology (IM/IT) capabilities needed to participate fully in the Exchange Network. The grant program also supports the development, testing, and implementation of State nodes; the development of Exchange Network data flows [e.g., using Extensible Markup Language (XML) schema]; and the planning and development of collaborative, innovative uses of the Exchange Network. Funding Priority: The priorities of the Exchange Network Grant Program are to support the following: 1. Projects that directly help states, territories, and tribes develop the information technology and information management capabilities needed to participate in the Exchange Network. 2. Projects to develop, test, and implement Exchange Network nodes. 3. Pprojects to plan, develop, and implement key environmental data flows using the Exchange Network. 4. Collaborative, innovative projects that demonstrate the use of the Exchange Network to enhance data sharing and environmental decision-making.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Funding is available for direct costs associated with carrying out grant-supported projects and for allocations of allowable indirect costs, in accordance with established EPA policies.

Who is eligible to apply...

Eligible applicants include the following: States and the District of Columbia and their agencies or departments (not including state universities that are agencies or instrumentalities of the state); U.S. territories (i.e., American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and their agencies or departments (not including territorial universities that are agencies or instrumentalities of the territory); Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and their agencies or departments (not including tribal universities that are agencies or instrumentalities of the tribe); and Tribal consortia. For certain competitive funding opportunities, the Agency may limit eligibility to a particular subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's competition policy. State, territorial, or tribal universities; local, town, county, or regional governments; and nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply for Exchange Network grants in FY 2005. EPA encourages all eligible entities to work with organizations that have expertise that could contribute to the development and utilization of the Exchange Network. Likewise, EPA encourages universities, city/town/county/regional governments, and nonprofit organizations that are interested in the Exchange Network to work in partnership with eligible state, territorial, and tribal agencies or departments.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

Costs will be evaluated in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87, Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments.

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:

EPA plans to publish a solicitation notice for the Exchange Network Grant Program in the Federal Register in the fall of 2004. The grant program will include three categories of grants: Readiness, Implementation, and Challenge. Applications and initial proposals will be due approximately 75 days after the publication date of the Federal Register notice. Applicants who wish to apply for Readiness and Implementation Grants will be required to submit the complete application package (see http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/index.htm), including their proposed project work plan, within the 75-day application period. Applicants who wish to apply for Challenge Grants will be required to submit an initial proposal (but not the full application package) within the initial 75-day period. Challenge Grant applicants whose initial proposals receive a favorable review by EPA will then be given 45 days to submit the full application package.

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 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

Complete application packages for Readiness or Implementation Grant applicants and initial proposals for Challenge Grant applicants will be due to EPA approximately 75 days after the FY 2005 Exchange Network Grant Program solicitation notice has been published in the Federal Register. EPA expects to publish the Federal Register notice in the fall of 2004. An EPA Review Panel will review the applications and initial proposals that are received by EPA by the application deadline, based on the criteria published in the Federal Register, and initial decisions will be made by the Agency approximately 90 days after the application deadline. Both Readiness and Implementation Grant applications that receive a favorable review will then be processed and recommended for funding. Challenge Grant applicants whose initial proposals receive a favorable review by EPA will then be given 45 days to submit the full application package. Complete application packages that receive a favorable review will be processed and recommended for funding. The processing of complete application packages and the issuance of grant awards may take up to 90 days.

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

Applicants who submit complete application packages or initial proposals will be notified of the results of EPA?s review within approximately 90 days after the application deadline. Challenge Grant applicants whose initial proposals receive a favorable review by EPA will then be given 45 days to submit the full application package. The processing of complete application packages that receive a favorable review and the issuance of grant awards may take up to 90 days.

Preapplication Coordination

This grant program is excluded from coverage under Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.

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

See 40 CFR Part 31, Subpart F: Uniform Administrative Requirements For Grants And Cooperative Agreements To State And Local Governments, Disputes.

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

Not applicable.

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...

Federal, state, territory, city, town, county, and regional governments; Federally Recognized Indian tribes and tribal consortia; public institutions and industries subject to EPA regulatory reporting requirements; and the public.

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

Range: $75,000 to $1,000,000. Average: $300,000.

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 $19,999,900; FY 04 $20,000,000; and FY 05 est $25,000.

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

68-0108-0-1-304.

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...

A few examples of the types of projects supported by the Exchange Network Grant Program include: (1.) Using the Exchange Network to facilitate the exchange of electronic Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) among states and EPA (involves Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota); (2.) Exchanging Beach monitoring data with EPA (involves New Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire, Georgia, California, and North Carolina); (3.) Exchanging surface water quality monitoring data among states in the Pacific Northwest (involves Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Idaho); and (4.) Exchanging drinking water laboratory results between laboratories and states using the Exchange Network (involves New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Jersey).

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 Exchange Network Grant Program has resulted in the development of 9 operational state nodes thus far, and another 26 state nodes are currently under development, testing, or implementation. All states and over 30 tribes have been engaged in the development of the Exchange Network at some level, and it has enabled them to upgrade their information technology and management (IT/IM) capabilities in preparation for participating in the Exchange Network. The Exchange Network Grant Program has also enabled industry-to-state data flows, and resulted in collaboration on interstate data exchanges.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

The eligibility criteria for the FY 2005 Exchange Network Grant Program will be published in the Federal Register in the fall of 2004. The program will continue to provide support for the following: (1.) Projects that directly help states, territories, and tribes develop the information technology and information management capabilities needed to participate in the Exchange Network; (2.) Projects to develop, test, and implement Exchange Network nodes; (3.) Projects to plan, develop, and implement key environmental data flows using the Exchange Network; and (4.) Collaborative, innovative projects that demonstrate the use of the Exchange Network to enhance data sharing and environmental decision-making.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Projects funded through the Exchange Network Grant Program may take up to three years, but EPA anticipates that the period of performance for most projects performed under this grant will be two years.

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula and has no matching requirements.

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

Grant recipients must submit a semiannual progress report to the appropriate Regional Project Officer for the Exchange Network Grant Program. These progress reports must be submitted within one month of the end of the reporting period, and the reporting periods will generally be 1) from October through March (report due April 30) and 2) from April through September (report due October 31). The first semiannual report must be submitted on the first reporting due date that occurs after the award is issued (either April 30 or October 31), provided that due date is three or more months after the award issuance date. If the award is issued less than three months before the first reporting due date, the first progress report will be due on the next reporting due date. Progress reports must include the following: (1.) A description of major progress, accomplishments, and results achieved during the reporting period; (2.) A summary of cost expenditures and how the available funds were used during the reporting period unless the grant is included in a Performance Partnership Grant, 40 CFR Part 35.530(b) and 40 CFR Part 35.130(b); (3.) A description of major progress, accomplishments, and results expected during the next reporting period; (4.) A description of significant problems or delays, if any, and plans to overcome them; and (5.) A description of technical assistance needed from the EPA Region or EPA Headquarters.

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

Financial records, including all accounting records that substantiate the charges to each grant, must be maintained and accessible to personnel authorized to examine EPA grant accounts. If certain financial records are part of an audit investigation, then they must be retained until the matter under investigation has been completely resolved.

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

Consolidated Appropriations Resolution for the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies of 2003, Public Law 108-7; Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, Public Law 108-199.

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

For collaborative projects involving more than one participant, a single state/territorial/tribal agency or department or a tribal consortia must be designated as the project lead. The project lead is responsible for developing the initial proposal and/or the complete application package, as well as for managing the project and the grant funds. Instructions for submitting initial proposals and complete applications will be included in the program solicitation, which will be published in the Federal Register in the fall of 2004. When submitting the complete application package, applicants must include the forms listed on EPA's Office of Grants and Debarment Web site, http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/index.htm.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

EPA Regional Project Officers for the Exchange Network Grant Program: Region I: Ken Blumberg, U.S. EPA Region I, 1 Congress Street, Suite 1100, Mail Code MIR, Boston, MA 02114, (617) 918-1084, blumberg.ken@epa.gov. Region II: Robert Bob Simpson, U.S. EPA Region II, 290 Broadway, Mail Code 20PMIS, New York, NY 10007-1866, (212) 637-3335, simpson.robert@epa.gov. Region III: Joseph Kunz, U.S. EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-2116, kunz.joseph@epa.gov. Region IV: Richard Nawyn, U.S. EPA Region IV, 61 Forsyth Street, 9th Floor, Mail Code OPM/IMB, Atlanta, GA 30303, (404) 562-8320, nawyn.richard@epa.gov. Region V: Noel Kohl, U.S. EPA Region V, Resource Management Division, 77 W. Jackson Boulevard, Mail Code MG-9J, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-6224, kohl.noel@epa.gov. Region VI: Michael McCorkhill, U.S. EPA Region VI, 1445 Ross Ave., Mail Code 6MDII, Dallas, TX 75202, (214) 665-8553, mccorkhill.michael@epa.gov. Region VII: Maryane Tremaine, U.S. EPA Region VII, 901 N. 5th Street, Mail Code PLMG/IRMB, Kansas City, KS 66101, (913) 551-7430, tremaine.maryane@epa.gov. Region VIII: Josie Lopez, U.S. EPA Region VIII, 999 18th Street, Suite 300, Mail Code 8P-5A, Denver, CO 80202-2466, (303) 312-7079, lopez.josie@epa.gov. Region IX: Patricia Eklund, U.S. EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, 14th Floor, #14232, Mail Code PMD-1, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 972-3738; eklund.patricia@epa.gov. Region X: Burney Hill, U.S. EPA Region X, 1200 6th Avenue, Mail Code EMI-095, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 553-1761, hill.burney@epa.gov.

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

Rebecca Moser, Exchange Network Grant Program Manager, Office of Information Collection, Office of Environmental Information, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Mail Code 2823-T, Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566-1679; moser.rebecca@epa.gov. Terry Forrest, Project Officer, Office of Information Collection, Office of Environmental Information, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Mail Code 2823-T, Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566-0196; forrest.terry@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: