Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) FY12 Funding Announcement | Region 10 | US EPA

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Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) FY12 Funding Announcement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 10, is announcing the funding opportunity for Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) grant proposals from federally recognized tribal governments and intertribal consortia for 2012 work plan program development activities. The goal of GAP is to assist tribes in building capacity to administer tribal environmental programs according to their individual needs.

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for GAP is 66.926.

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IMPORTANT DUE DATES
Funding Announcement distributed by EPA
October 4, 2010
Tribal GAP Draft Proposal must be postmarked or hand delivered by this date.
Draft proposals not postmarked or hand delivered by this date will not be accepted.
December 20, 2010
Deadline for Tribes with Performance Partnership Grant must submit a draft GAP work plan (along with the 106 and 319 base work plan, as applicable)
By January 14, 2011
Acknowledgement of proposals received sent to Tribes
By January 15, 2011
GAP negotiations
January - May, 2011
Full applications with final revised work plans and required forms/certifications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the project officer by this date.
No later than May 20, 2011
GAP awards made to Tribes and Tribal consortia
By September 30, 2011

IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHTS

BACKGROUND AND PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
EPA’s policy is to work with tribes on a government-to-government basis to enhance environmental protection in Tribal communities. In 1992, Congress passed the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Act which authorizes EPA to provide General Assistance Program (GAP) grants to federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia for planning, developing, and establishing environmental protection programs.

The GAP program is exempt from competition. EPA has determined that competition for GAP is not practical because of the need to provide a clear and stable source of base funding for program development and capacity building across Indian country consistent with the primary statutory purpose of the program. Therefore, all applications that meet the stated requirements in program regulations and this guidance will be funded if funds are available. This grant notification includes three GAP funding opportunities:

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
A. Base Grant Funding
Last year, EPA Region 10 received $30,829,122 of GAP funding for Tribes and Tribal consortia in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Region 10 currently has approximately 219 Tribes and 19 Tribal consortia with active GAP grants, and also funds 7 Alaska Peer Assistance Network agreements. Our objective is to provide funding for new GAP grantees and to continue to support capacity building efforts for existing grantees. Award amounts will depend on the following:

Past performance will also be reviewed. (See Section: Management Capacity/Past Performance for more details.)

Available GAP funding will be awarded to assure base funding for all federally recognized Region 10 tribes that meet EPA GAP funding requirements. GAP grant project periods may not exceed four years. At the end of a four-year grant period, tribes and tribal consortia may apply for a new GAP grant to continue environmental capacity building activities.

Region 10 Tribes have requested an increase to base funding levels under the GAP program to support higher personnel, travel and other costs, and also to address climate change issues. Supporting Tribal efforts to build capacity to protect human health and the environment via GAP funding is a high priority for the agency. In support of this Tribal request, EPA Region 10 is increasing the base funding level to $125,000 for FY2012. Note that the Region cannot commit to a permanent increase at this level for future funding years. GAP funding for FY2013 and beyond will be dependent on the level of funding authorized by Congress and received by the Region

1. Tribal Governments
Awards for base funding will not be less than $75,000 for new grantees and may be up to $125,000 per year. Tribes with large reservations may receive up to $175,000 base funding based on national funding criteria. For Umatilla, Spokane, and Quinault, base funding is up to $155,000; for Coeur d'Alene, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Bannock, and Warm Springs, base is up to $165,000; and for Colville and Yakama, base is up to $175,000.

Multi-year proposals for up to four years may be accepted from GAP recipients with a strong record of achieving outputs and outcomes and grants management experience. Multi-year proposals are encouraged, but please discuss this option with a Project Officer before submitting a proposal.

2. Tribal Consortia
A tribal consortium is defined as a partnership between two or more tribes authorized by the governing bodies of those tribes to apply for and receive assistance under the GAP program. A tribal consortium is eligible to receive grants if the consortium can adequately document compliance with the following requirements:

B. Additional Funding Opportunities
1. Coordination of Regional Tribal Operations Committee (RTOC)
Region 10 will provide funding to a tribe to coordinate RTOC activities that will help develop tribal capacity. In the past, funding has been awarded to the tribe whose staff serves as the RTOC Tribal Co-Chair. If a tribe is interested in submitting a proposal to coordinate the RTOC grant, please contact Diana Boquist, EPA Region 10 RTOC Project Officer, at 206-553-1586.

2. Tribal Leaders Summit
Tribes and tribal consortia located in the State of Washington may express interest in co-sponsoring the next Tribal Leaders Summit with EPA Region 10 by submitting an abstract (a one-page description of proposed tasks and their costs). Approximately 300-400 attendees are expected for the summit, requiring sizable conference facilities and lodging availability. As a policy, tribally owned facilities are preferred.

We anticipate the selected Tribal co-sponsor for the Tribal Leaders Summit to be held in 2012 or 2013 will receive a two-year cooperative agreement with EPA. During the first year of the project, the selected Tribal Co-sponsor will have the opportunity to shadow and be mentored by the Grand Ronde Tribe during the planning for the 2011/2012 Annual Tribal Leaders Summit to be held in Grand Ronde, Oregon. The second year of the project would then be used for planning and preparation for the 2012/2013 Summit. EPA anticipates the 2012/2013 Summit will be held approximately 18 months following the summit at Grand Ronde. See Attachment A for information on submitting an abstract. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
A. Eligible Recipients
All federally-recognized tribes in Region 10 are eligible to receive funds. Tribal consortia that meet the eligibility requirements described above may also receive funding, if available after tribal governments are funded at their base funding levels.

B. Matching Costs
Applicants are not required to provide any matching funds.

C. Eligible Activities
A brief synopsis of capacity-building activities and solid and hazardous waste activities is provided below. For more information on eligible activities, please refer to Attachment B; the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Guidelines for the Award and Management of General Assistance Agreements for Indian Tribes, March 2000 (http://www.epa.gov/indian/pdfs/gap2000.pdf); and the 2006 Grant Administration Guidance, February 2006 (http://www.epa.gov/indian/pdfs/gap2006.pdf).

1. Capacity-Building Activities
GAP funding can be used for activities that build tribal capacity to develop and manage environmental protection programs. Capacity building may include developing the appropriate administrative and legal infrastructure, establishing tribal technical capability, and planning and establishing an integrated tribal environmental management program to be implemented through other EPA program-specific grants. Except for solid waste or hazardous waste implementation activities, GAP funds cannot be used to implement any other types of environmental programs. 2. Solid and Hazardous Waste Planning and Implementation Activities
GAP funds can be used for planning, development, and implementation of tribal solid and hazardous waste programs. Region 10 strongly encourages completion of an integrated solid waste management plan (ISWMP) prior to beginning implementation activities so the plan can provide guidance and structure for addressing solid and hazardous waste issues. Tasks may include, but are not limited to, the following:
For resources and success stories on building Tribal solid and hazardous waste programs, visit the Region 10 Tribal Solid and Hazardous Waste web page: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/TRIBAL.NSF/programs/tribal_solid_waste
Also, please refer to the solid waste tool found as Attachment C of the announcement package. FOCUS AREAS
While EPA Region 10 provides funding for all activities that build the capacity of tribal governments to manage environmental programs, tribes are encouraged to discuss the following recommended focus areas with their EPA Project Officer. Additional detail on each of these focus areas is included in Attachment D. A. Capacity Building Activities (for new tribes or tribes with difficulty meeting grants management requirements)
B. For tribes with established programs that have demonstrated grants management ability, Region 10 recommends considering the following focus areas: REQUIRED GRANT PROPOSAL ELEMENTS
Elements of the draft proposal include the following:

A. Narrative Discussion (may be included as an attachment when submitting a proposal in GAP Online)
  1. Provide description of Tribal background and geographic location. (First year applicants only.)
  2. Describe any high-priority environmental and human health issues that affect the tribe(s), and their relation to any environmental assessment or strategy efforts conducted to date.
  3. Describe tribal capacity building efforts needed to address environmental and human health risks.
  4. Describe where the environmental staff is placed within the tribal organizational structure. (An organization chart is acceptable.)
  5. List other funding sources (both federal and non-federal) that the tribe has managed or plans to pursue to develop and implement environmental programs.
  6. Provide summary of work plan components.
  7. Describe tribal and EPA roles and responsibilities in carrying out the work plan commitment. (Required, sample language is included in Attachment F.)
  8. Provide a performance evaluation process and reporting schedule in accordance with 40 CFR 35.515. (Required, sample language is included in Attachment F.)
B. General Work Plan Requirements
Applicants must submit work plans in a standardized template, provided in Attachment F. A separate work plan for each project year in a multi-year proposal is required. Work plan components and commitments should not duplicate prior efforts, but should demonstrate clear progress over time or specify new focus areas. Work plans must contain the elements listed below.
One-Time Mandatory Tasks. The following tasks are mandatory for all grantees. New grantees should complete these tasks within the first few years of receiving a new GAP grant. The Tribal Environmental Plan should be revised whenever the document becomes outdated; the Administrative/Fiscal Assessment should be repeated whenever there are substantial changes to the tribe’s financial systems.
C. Detailed Budget (may be included as an attachment when submitting a proposal in GAP Online)
A detailed budget narrative must be submitted, with a breakdown by object class categories. Note that separate budgets are required for each project year in a multi-year work plan. EPA has developed a budget template format (recommended but not mandatory), which is provided in Attachment G. D. Optional Special Project Funding for the Direct Benefit of Multiple Tribes
Individual tribes and tribal consortia may submit requests for special project needs as an optional work plan component for funding up to $75,000 to conduct activities that benefit multiple (or all) tribes in the Region. More than one special project may be considered if funds allow. Optional components must be ranked in order of importance. Note: Funding for special projects is expected to be very limited, and actual funding amounts for special projects will be determined once Region 10 receives its funding allocation. Requests for additional funding are limited to the 2012 project year (i.e. multi-year proposals cannot request special project funding for subsequent project years). A separate work plan and budget must be developed for the optional special project funding component. Proposed special project activities work plans must include expected human health and environmental benefits. Types of activities for the benefit of multiple Tribes might include building capacity to address environmental concerns/issues, provide technical assistance, grants management training, hosting workshops and/or training for multiple tribes, developing educational curricula for Tribes to educate their members about climate change, and the Alaska Peer Assistance Network. The Alaska Peer Assistance Network can be a component of special project funding in Alaska. Under the initiative, Alaska GAP grantees (i.e. Tribes or Consortia) can propose assistance to other Tribes for capacity building activities including improved GAP grant compliance and performance. All peer assistance work must be submitted as a proposal under a cooperative agreement. For guidelines on submitting proposals for peer assistance work, please refer to Attachment H.

MANAGEMENT CAPACITY / PAST PERFORMANCE
Past performance will be a factor in EPA funding decisions. All grant applicants must demonstrate sound financial, administrative, and programmatic management capability. For current or previous recipients, the Project Officer will verify:
No-cost extensions (or reduced awards) will be strongly encouraged if an applicant has a high unspent balance of GAP funding from previous awards, unless there is pending approved work, such as field work, that will reduce the balance. New funds require new work commitments in addition to the required project activities that are already behind schedule; a no-cost extension allows time to successfully complete those activities. No-cost extensions do not limit the amount that may be requested in the future. Extensions are not automatic and must be requested by the applicant.

For recipients with past performance issues, the application must include a discussion of the steps the applicant has taken to address issues and correct past administrative, financial, or programmatic challenges. Applicants who are out of compliance with the programmatic or administrative terms and conditions of their existing award may be denied funding, or may receive a reduced award. If the applicant has not applied for GAP in the past, or if past performance merits a review of the applicant’s administrative or financial systems, a pre-award review may be required prior to the submission of an application. EPA will contact the applicant to schedule this review if necessary.

AWARD ADMINISTRATION
Applicants awarded funding must comply with the administrative and programmatic terms and conditions of the grant award as well as the federal regulations found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 31 and 35, Subpart B (40 CFR 35.500-35.518). EPA highly recommends that grant applicants carefully review and understand all grant award documents prior to accepting the grant. If questions or concerns arise during that review, contact your Project Officer.

PERFORMANCE PARTNERSHIP GRANTS
Performance Partnership Grants (PPGs) are grants formed by incorporating at least two eligible EPA grants into a single grant. PPGs help decrease administrative burdens and increase flexibility in how grant funds can be used. Tribes that receive two or more EPA grants are encouraged to discuss the prospect of forming a PPG with their GAP project officer. For a current list of the EPA programs eligible to be included in a PPG, please refer to 40 CFR 35.501.

Tribes should engage the EPA in PPG discussions before developing individual grant applications. Past grant performance is one factor EPA considers when evaluating potential PPGs. Since multiple grants are involved, PPG proposals and applications can take longer to develop than single grant proposals.
Tribes with PPG's must submit a draft GAP work plan (along with the 106 and 319 base work plan, as applicable) by January 14, 2011. Final, full application packages must be submitted by May 20, 2011.

AGENCY CONTACTS
Draft proposals/abstracts must be postmarked or hand-delivered by December 20, 2010. Draft proposals not postmarked or hand-delivered by this date will not be accepted. Proposals should be mailed “Return Receipt Requested” for verification of receipt by EPA.
If located in Alaska, please submit your proposal to your Project Officer. If you are a new applicant in Alaska, please submit your proposal to Santina Gay at:
If located in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington, please submit your proposal to your Project Officer. If you are a new grantee in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington, please submit your proposal to Diana Boquist at: Seattle, WA 98101-1128

In order to expedite the review of your proposal and/or abstract, please send an electronic copy by email to your EPA Project Officer in addition to a hard copy.

If you have any questions about the GAP application process or grant requirements, please contact a Project Officer. For applicants in Alaska, general questions can be directed to the Tribal Unit in the Alaska office at 1-800-781-0983. For applicants in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington, please contact the Region 10 Tribal Unit in the Seattle office at 1-800-424-4372.

FULL APPLICATION SUBMITTAL PROCESS
The Project Officer will contact applicant’s staff to negotiate revisions and arrange a time frame for revisions. Tribes are responsible for completing the negotiation process and responding to revision requests within time frames specified by Project Officers. Applicants who are not responsive to revision requests or who do not make requested revisions after three requests may receive a denial letter. Applicants in this situation will be encouraged to get training needed and apply during the next funding cycle. Submitting an initial work plan and budget does not guarantee that a grant will be awarded.

After EPA and tribes negotiate final work plans and budgets, project officers will invite tribes through a letter or email to submit a full application package. A full application package consists of the approved GAP narrative, work plan, detailed budget, resolutions (as needed), and federal forms signed by the Tribal Chair or their designated representative. Full application packages must be postmarked or hand delivered to the project officer by May 20, 2011.
Approved grant awards will be made by September 30, 2011.

FUNDING PRIORITIES
EPA identifies a portion of the overall regional GAP funding appropriation to support the Tribal Leaders Summit and the Regional Tribal Operations Committee. Region 10 funding priorities include:

A. Individual Tribes. The primary purpose of GAP is to build tribal capacity for developing and administering environmental protection programs, and it is EPA policy to work with tribes on a government-to-government basis. Therefore, providing GAP grants to individual tribal governments is our highest priority.

B. Tribal Consortia. Funding for tribal consortia will be considered after the needs of individual tribes are met. Consortia work plans should meet the needs of tribes without duplicating individual tribal efforts. Work plans that directly build tribal environmental capacity are emphasized.

C. Special Projects that Benefit Multiple Tribes. This priority includes grants to individual tribes or consortia for activities directly benefiting multiple (or all) tribes in the Region. Such activities might include Alaska Peer Assistance Network or other technical assistance programs, holding conferences, conducting training courses, helping Tribe’s to build capacity to address environmental concerns/issues, and developing educational curricula for Tribes to educate their members about climate change. Depending on the regional funding allocation, along with the number of tribes and consortia that receive base grants, it is possible that no funding will be available to fund special projects. OTHER INFORMATION / RESOURCES
A. Dispute Resolution Procedures
40 CFR Part 30.63 and 40 CFR Part 31.70 describes the dispute resolution process. B. Confidentiality
Applicants must clearly mark information they consider confidential. EPA will make confidentiality decisions in accordance with Agency regulations found at 40 CFR 2, Subpart B. C. Additional Resources
Please see Attachment I for a list of some helpful websites related to the development of GAP applications and environmental programs.

LIST OF ATTACHMENTS

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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/TRIBAL.NSF/Grants/igap_2012

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