Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) FY13 Funding Announcement
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 10, Tribal Trust and Assistance Unit, is announcing the funding opportunity for Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) grant proposals from federally recognized tribal governments and intertribal consortia for 2012-2013 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.
On this page:
IMPORTANT DUE DATES
For GAP grantees (all grant recipients except PPG tribes):
For PPG tribes only:
|Funding Announcement distributed by EPA||October 6, 2011|
|Draft proposals (work plans and budgets) MUST be postmarked, hand-delivered, submitted in GAP Online, or emailed by this date. For emailed proposals, grantee must obtain confirmation (verbal or electronic) that the proposal was received by a Project Officer.||December 20, 2011 |
Late proposals will not be accepted.
|GAP negotiations||January - May, 2012|
|Full applications with final revised work plans and required forms/certifications must be postmarked or emailed to the project officer by this date. For emailed proposals, grantee must obtain confirmation (verbal or electronic) that the proposal was received by a Project Officer.||No later than May 21, 2012|
GAP awards will be made to tribes and tribal consortia by September 30, 2012.
|Funding Announcement distributed by EPA||October 4, 2011|
|Draft proposals (work plans and budgets) MUST be postmarked or emailed by this date.||January 13, 2012 |
Late proposals will not be accepted.
|GAP negotiations||January - May, 2012|
|Full applications with final revised work plans and required forms/certifications must be postmarked or emailed to the project officer by this date. ||No later than May 21, 2012|
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 tribal program development and capacity building 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 two GAP funding opportunities:
- Work Plans and Progress Reports Must be Submitted in GAP Online. All GAP grant recipients (except PPG tribes) must enter final revised work plans into GAP Online at http://iaspub.epa.gov/GAP_Online/, and work plans must be approved by your Project Officer in GAP Online no later than September 30, 2012. EPA encourages tribes to also submit draft work plans in GAP Online. In addition, Tribes are required to submit progress reports in GAP Online. For those new to the GAP program or to GAP Online, please contact an EPA Project Officer for information or access the GAP Online User Guide at: http://www.epa.gov/Indian/gap.htm. The GAP Online system provides a centralized tool for creating work plans and reporting progress. User names and passwords have been distributed to tribes. If you do not have your user name and password, or if you have trouble entering data into GAP Online, please contact your Project Officer. See Section X of this Announcement for contact information if you do not have a Project Officer.
- Draft GAP Guidebook. EPA is in the process of developing a Guidebook for Building Tribal Environmental Capacity (GAP Guidebook) to assist tribes as they develop their capacity to implement environmental programs, and has invited tribes to consult on the draft Guidebook. The purpose of the draft Guidebook is to provide a framework for achieving tribal capacity; require regions to negotiate environmental plans with tribes that would be linked to GAP work plans and measure progress; and revise the distribution of GAP funding to emphasize prior progress, environmental capacity needs, and long-term goals. A copy of the draft Guidebook, along with information on consultation and how to provide comments is available online at http://www.epa.gov/tribal/pdf/2011-0801-guidebook-working-draft.pdf Please review the draft Guidebook carefully, as it may have implications for your program once it is finalized.
- Determination of Base Funding Levels. EPA’s grant practices and procedures have been under heightened scrutiny from Congress, the Government Accountability Office and EPA’s Office of Inspector General. This scrutiny has centered on grantee selection, oversight, accountability and environmental results. EPA is proactively responding to the scrutiny by changing the way we determine award amounts. No existing grantee is guaranteed to be funded at the base level of $125,000. Rather, EPA will determine funding levels after closely evaluating several factors, including environmental need, progress under current work plan and unexpended fund balances. More information is provided under Sections III (funding criteria) and VII (past performance) of this Announcement.
- Success Stories/Lessons Learned. EPA is requiring that all grantees submit a success story or a thoughtful analysis of lessons learned at least once during a four-year GAP grant cycle. A descriptive write-up must be included as a work plan task, and should be a one-page summary focused on a particular topic, project or a highlight of work performed during the multi-year GAP grant. For more information on this new requirement, please see Section VI of this Announcement.
- CCR and DUNS Numbers. All EPA applicants must have an active Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and a valid Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in order to be eligible to receive a grant. Applicants have been required to have a valid DUNS number since October 1, 2003. CCR registration is also now required. A valid DUNS is a pre-requisite to CCR registration. The CCR registration must be updated/renewed annually in order to remain active. Maintenance of an active CCR registration is also required in order for grant recipients to receive payment. A DUNS number may be obtained from D&B by telephone (866-705-5711) or the Internet at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform Information about registration procedures may be found at the CCR Internet site at http://www.ccr.gov
A. Base Grant Funding Levels and Funding Criteria
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.
In FY2013, new grantees will receive no less than $75,000 and up to $125,000 in base funding to support their first year of GAP funding, depending on the activities in the proposed work plan and environmental need. Existing grantees may receive base funding awards in any amount up to $125,000 based upon the following criteria:
- GAP Grants to tribes and tribal Consortia
- Coordination of the Regional Tribal Operations Committee
Tribes with large reservations may receive up to $175,000 base funding based on 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.
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. Grantees are not required to provide matching funds for this program.
- the amount of GAP funding Region 10 receives
- the number of tribes and tribal consortia submitting approvable applications
- work plan quality
- past performance (See Section VII for more details)
- environmental need, demonstrated by previous research, planning, assessments, and other documentation on specific environmental concerns
- improvement to human health and the environment
1. Tribal Governments
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. 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.
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.
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 A (PDF) (4pp, 55K), Summary of Capacity & Implementation Indicators (taken from the draft GAP Guidebook for Building Tribal Environmental Capacity); 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. GAP funds cannot be used to implement any environmental programs, except for solid waste or hazardous waste implementation activities described in the following section.
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:
- A majority of member tribes are eligible to receive GAP grants.
- Member tribes that meet the eligibility requirements authorize the consortium to apply for and receive the grant.
- Only member tribes that meet eligibility requirements will directly benefit from the grant project; the consortium must agree to that grant condition.
- Tribal consortia may be funded after all eligible and qualified tribal government applicants are funded. Because the demand for funding may exceed available funds, consortia are advised to describe how proposals respond to the administrative and technical assistance needs of their member tribes. If there is not enough funding to fully fund tribal governments, then consortia will not be funded.
- Consortia may request base funding in the amount of $75,000 to $125,000 per year; EPA will provide funding to consortia based on available funds.
- Multi-year proposals for up to two years may be accepted and are encouraged. Please discuss this option with a Project Officer before submitting a proposal.
- Tribal resolutions or other written certification from a duly authorized representative of each tribal government that clearly demonstrates that a partnership of tribal governments exists must be provided. The documentation must specify the period of time (to cover the project) authorized by the tribal government to support the consortium project. The time frame referenced in the documentation must match the work plan period. For example, consortia submitting two year funding proposals must have support resolutions that indicate support for the two year project period. New resolutions or documents of support must be submitted as needed in subsequent funding years.
- In order for member tribes to benefit from consortia support, Consortia must submit supporting resolutions or other documentation described above from eligible tribal governments with the final application by the May 21, 2012 deadline.
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 B (PDF) (3 pp, 59K) of the announcement package.
NOTE: Implementation projects that involve ground disturbing, precedent setting, or highly controversial activities may be subject to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). When NEPA compliance is necessary, the proposed GAP work plan must contain appropriate compliance activities, such as an environmental review, or the development of an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Please contact your Project Officer to discuss whether or not NEPA activities may be required.
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 C (PDF) (2 pp, 38K).
- Developing an integrated waste management plan
- Cleaning up, closing, or upgrading open dumps
- Removing abandoned vehicles, scrap metal, and used tires
- Planning and conducting household hazardous waste cleanups
- Establishing collection and recycling programs, recycling staging areas and support facilities
A. Capacity building activities (for new tribes or tribes with difficulty meeting grants management requirements). For more detail on capacity building activities, please see Attachment A.
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)
B. For tribes with established programs that have demonstrated grants management ability, Region 10 recommends considering the following focus areas:
- Solid and hazardous waste management/Establishment and implementation of recycling programs
- Capacity building to address the environmental impacts of climate change (e.g. planning, assessment, education, research, form working groups)
- Renewable energy and sustainability planning
- Resource extraction
- Subsistence resources protection
- Capacity building to properly operate tribal utilities
- Environmental education
- Tribal consultation policy development
- Collaboration with the Regional Tribal Operations Committee (see Attachment D (PDF) (3 pp, 45K) for a list of contacts)
B. Work Plan
- Provide description of tribal background and geographic location. (First year applicants only.)
- 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.
- Describe tribal capacity building efforts needed to address environmental and human health risks.
- Describe where the environmental staff is placed within the tribal organizational structure. (An organization chart is acceptable.)
- List other funding sources (both federal and non-federal) that the tribe has managed or plans to pursue to develop and implement environmental programs.
- Provide summary of work plan components.
- Describe tribal and EPA roles and responsibilities in carrying out the work plan commitment. (Required, sample language is included in Attachment E (Word) (4 pp))
- Provide a performance evaluation process and reporting schedule in accordance with 40 CFR 35.515. (Required, sample language is included in Attachment E (Word) (4 pp).)
1. General Work Plan Requirements. Applicants must submit work plans in a standardized template, provided in Attachment E (Word file) (4 pp, 54K). 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.
- A description of each work plan component to be funded;
- Estimated work years (FTEs) and funding amounts for each work plan component;
- The work plan commitments for each work plan component, and a timeframe for their completion;
- The expected outputs (or deliverables) for each commitment;
- Outcomes (environmental result) associated with each work plan component to the extent practicable; and
- Quality assurance documentation (if applicable). All environmental measurements, including sampling and compilation activities, require an EPA approved quality assurance project plan (QAPP) before beginning the activity.
2. 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. Success Stories/Lessons Learned – New Requirement
- Environmental Assessment or Inventory. Identify actual or potential environmental and human health issues; prioritize which issues to address first.
- Tribal Environmental Plan. Develop an environmental plan to address priorities identified in the assessment.
- Administrative/Fiscal Assessment. Review and assess the tribe’s financial, procurement and property management procedures to insure that the tribe’s systems meet the requirements of 40 CFR Part 31 and Cost Principles under 2 CFR Part 225 (formerly OMB Circular A-87). Corrections to deficiencies found in the tribe’s administrative systems are eligible activities under GAP.
EPA is requiring that all grantees submit a success story or a write-up describing lessons learned at least once during a four-year GAP grant cycle. The write-up must be included as a work plan task, and should be a one-page summary focused on a particular task, project or a highlight of work performed during the multi-year GAP grant. It should include before/after pictures, if appropriate; data (such as what materials were used or collected by weight, volume or specific category); and finally, a description of how the GAP funding affected behavior or led to a positive change in the environment (as applicable). A sample work plan task and deliverable might be:
D. Detailed Budget (may be included as an attachment when submitting a proposal in GAP Online)
Task: Develop a one-page summary of the tribal creek clean-up project.
Deliverable: Summary page with pictures and data as appropriate.
For more information on this requirement, please contact your Project Officer.
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 F (PDF) (7pp, 538K).
E. 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 2013 project year (i.e. multi-year proposals cannot request special project funding for subsequent project years). For FY2012, Region 10 tribes submitted 60 special project proposals, but due to funding constraints, the region was only able to fund 24 proposals.
A separate work plan and budget must be developed for each 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 an option for special project funding in Alaska as a separate cooperative agreement. Under the initiative, Alaska GAP grantees (i.e. tribes or consortia) can propose assistance to other tribes for capacity building activities related to improving 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 G (PDF) (5 pp, 40K).
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:
It is in the best interests of tribes and the GAP program that all funds awarded are expended as fully as possible each year, according to the approved work plan and budget. As the budget becomes tighter, EPA will look closely at unspent grant balances. Grantees that have large balances with no reasonable expectation of spending the funds by the end of the grant period will receive reduced awards in FY2013.
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.
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 Clean Water Act 106 and 319 base work plan, as applicable) by January 13, 2012. Final, full application packages must be submitted by May 21, 2012. Tribes with PPG’s may mail, email or hand-deliver your draft and final applications to your EPA Project Officer by these deadlines.
Draft proposals must be postmarked, hand-delivered, submitted through GAP Online, or emailed by the due dates listed on page 1 of this funding announcement. Late proposals will not be accepted. Proposals that are mailed should include “Return Receipt Requested” for verification of receipt by EPA. For emailed proposals, grantee must obtain confirmation (verbal or electronic) that the proposal was received by your Project Officer.
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:
- Timeliness and completeness of reports
- Progress under the current work plan
- Absence of duplicative activities in proposed work plan and budget when compared to earlier awards
- Amount of unexpended funds, frequency of drawdowns and fiscal accountability
US EPA, Alaska Operations Office
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:
222 W. Seventh Avenue, #19
Anchorage, AK 99513-7588
US EPA, Region 10
Seattle, WA 98101-1128
Applicants who hand-deliver or mail their proposal should also email an electronic copy to your EPA Project Officer to expedite the review of your proposal.
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, hand delivered or emailed to the project officer by May 21, 2012.
Approved grant awards will be made by September 30, 2012.
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 tribes to build capacity to address environmental concerns/issues, and developing educational curricula for tribes to educate their members about climate change or other environmental topics. 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.
A. Dispute Resolution Procedures
40 CFR Part 30.63 and 40 CFR Part 31.70 describes the dispute resolution process.
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. Internet Resources and Information
Please see Attachment H (PDF) (2 pp, 25K)for a list of some helpful websites related to the development of GAP applications and environmental programs.
List of Attachments
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ETPA-085