Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) FY13 Funding Announcement | Region 10 | US EPA

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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.

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IMPORTANT DUE DATES
For GAP grantees (all grant recipients except PPG tribes):
Funding Announcement distributed by EPAOctober 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 negotiationsJanuary - 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

For PPG tribes only:
Funding Announcement distributed by EPAOctober 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 negotiationsJanuary - 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

GAP awards will be made to tribes and tribal consortia by September 30, 2012. 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 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:
FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
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:

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.


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.

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.

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:
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.

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 C (PDF) (2 pp, 38K).

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 E (Word) (4 pp))
  8. 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).)

B. Work Plan

C. Success Stories/Lessons Learned – New Requirement D. Detailed Budget (may be included as an attachment when submitting a proposal in GAP Online) E. Optional Special Project Funding for the Direct Benefit of Multiple Tribes 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:

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.

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 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.

AGENCY CONTACTS
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:


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

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.

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 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.

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. 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

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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/TRIBAL.NSF/Grants/igap_2013

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