Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) FY14 Funding Announcement | Region 10 | US EPA

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Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) FY14 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 Fiscal Year 2014. 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 2012
Draft proposals (work plans and budgets only) MUST be postmarked, hand-delivered, submitted in GAP Online, or emailed to the EPA Project Officer by this date. January 15, 2013
Late proposals will not be accepted.
GAP negotiationsJanuary - May, 2013
Full applications with final revised work plans and required forms/certifications MUST be postmarked, hand-delivered or emailed to the EPA Project Officer by this date. No later than May 20, 2013
Final work plans and budgets must also be entered into GAP Online.No later than August 30, 2013
Note: For emailed proposals, grantee must obtain written confirmation that the proposal was received by an EPA Project Officer.

GAP awards will be made to tribes and tribal consortia by September 30, 2013.

HIGHLIGHTS

BACKGROUND AND PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

EPA’s mandate 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 GAP grants to federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia for planning, developing, and establishing environmental protection programs. This funding announcement includes the following grant opportunities: GAP is exempt from competition. EPA has determined that competition for GAP grants 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.

FUNDING AMOUNT AVAILABLE

A. Base Grant Funding Levels
Last year, EPA Region 10 received $31,678,826 of GAP funding for tribes and tribal consortia in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Region 10 currently has 219 tribes and 19 tribal consortia with active GAP grants, and also funds seven Alaska Peer Assistance Network agreements.

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. EPA will determine funding levels based on the amount of GAP funding Region 10 receives and the number of tribes and tribal consortia submitting approvable applications.

In FY2014 depending on funding availability, new grantees with approvable applications may receive no less than $75,000 and up to $125,000 in base funding to support their first year of GAP work, depending on the eligible activities in the proposed work plan and environmental need. Existing grantees may receive base funding awards in any amount up to $125,000. Please note that existing grantees are not guaranteed to be funded at $125,000.
Tribes with large reservations may receive up to $175,000 base funding based on the 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 funding is up to $165,000; and for Colville and Yakama, base funding 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 program capacity building activities.

Two Year Work Plans: EPA strongly encourages current GAP recipients with a strong record of achieving outputs and outcomes to submit two-year proposals. If funding is available, two-year work plans may be fully funded. A separate work plan and budget must be included for each year. Please discuss this option with your EPA Project Officer before submitting a proposal.

Cost Sharing or Matching: Grantees are not required to provide matching funds for this program.

B. Coordination with the 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 work, please contact Diana Boquist, EPA Region 10 RTOC Project Officer, at 206-553-1586.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

A. Eligible Recipients
All federally-recognized tribes in EPA Region 10 are eligible to receive GAP funds. Tribal consortia that meet the eligibility requirements described below may also receive funding, if available, after tribal governments are funded.

Tribal Consortia Eligibility Requirements: 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 each of the following requirements:
B. Eligible Activities
A brief synopsis of eligible capacity-building and solid and hazardous waste activities is provided below. For more information on eligible activities, please refer to Attachment A (PDF) (4 pp, 58K), Summary of Capacity & Implementation Indicators (taken from the August 2011 draft GAP Guidebook for Building Tribal Environmental Capacity); the March 2000 Indian Environmental General Assistance Program Guidelines for the Award and Management of General Assistance Agreements for Indian Tribes, (http://www.epa.gov/tp/grantsandfunding/gap.htm); and the February 2006 Grant Administration Guidance (http://www.epa.gov/tp/grantsandfunding/gap.htm).
GAP funds cannot be used for ongoing operation and maintenance of solid waste collection programs (e.g., garbage and recycling pickup, brush cleanup, etc.).

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 or Environmental Impact Statement. Please contact your EPA 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, 33K).

A. Capacity building activities (for tribes new to the GAP program or tribes with difficulty meeting grants management requirements). For more detail on capacity building activities, please see Attachment A.

B. For tribes with established programs that have consistently demonstrated effective grants management practices, Region 10 recommends considering the following focus areas: REQUIRED GRANT PROPOSAL ELEMENTS

Elements of the draft proposal, due January 15, 2013, include the following:

A. Narrative Discussion (should be included as an attachment when submitting a proposal in GAP Online)
  1. Provide description of tribal background and geographic location.
  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/amounts (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. (Sample language to meet this requirement is included in Attachment E (PDF) (4 pp, 52K).)
  8. Provide a performance evaluation process and reporting schedule in accordance with 40 CFR 35.515. (Sample language to meet this requirement is included in Attachment E (PDF) (4 pp, 52K).)
B. Work Plan For more information on this requirement, please contact your EPA Project Officer.

C. Detailed Budget (may be included as an attachment when submitting a proposal in GAP Online)

D. Supplemental Projects for Unmet Needs Negotiation of Draft Work Plans/Budgets. The EPA Project Officer will contact applicant’s staff to negotiate revisions and arrange a time frame for revisions. Applicants are responsible for completing the negotiation process and responding to revision requests within time frames specified by EPA 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 applicants negotiate final work plans and budgets, EPA Project Officers will invite tribes through a letter or email to submit a full application package.

PROPOSAL REVIEW CRITERIA
GAP proposals and funding amounts will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

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 EPA Project Officer will verify:

It is in the best interests of tribes to apply only for funds which, if awarded, may be expended as fully as possible each year, according to the approved work plan and budget. Current grantees with large balances and no reasonable expectation of spending the funds by the end of the grant period will receive reduced awards.

No-cost extensions (or reduced awards) will be advised 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 of funds 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 funding 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 submission of an application. EPA will contact the applicant to schedule this review if necessary.

FUNDING PRIORITIES

EPA identifies a portion of the overall regional GAP funding appropriation to support the EPA Region 10 Tribal Environmental 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. 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 must meet the needs of member tribes without duplicating individual tribal efforts. Work plans that directly build tribal environmental capacity are emphasized.

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 EPA 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.

FULL APPLICATION SUBMITTAL PROCESS / AGENCY CONTACTS

A. Application Submittal
B. Agency Contacts C. GAP Online
D. System for Award Management (SAM) Entity Management Registration (formerly called CCR Registration) Required for Grant Application Processing, Award & Payment
AWARD ADMINISTRATION / RESOURCES

A. Applicable Agency Guidance, Regulations, and OMB Circulars B. Dispute Resolution Procedures C. Confidentiality D. Internet Resources and Information List of Attachments

Attachment A: Summary of Capacity & Implementation Indicators (Appendix 10.4 of the August 2011 draft GAP Guidebook for Building Tribal Environmental Capacity) (PDF) (4 pp, 58K)
Attachment B: Building a Tribal Solid Waste Program (PDF) (3 pp, 59K)
Attachment C: Focus Areas (PDF) (2 pp, 33K)
Attachment D: National and Regional Tribal Operations Committees Contact Information (PDF) (3 pp, 43K)
Attachment E: Sample Proposal Narrative and Work Plan Template (PDF) (4 pp, 52K)
Attachment F: Budget Template (PDF) (7 pp, 537K)
Attachment G: Indirect Cost Rate Information for Tribal Governments (PDF) (2 pp, 59K)
Attachment H: Prior Approval for Equipment Purchases (Fact Sheet) (PDF) (2 pp, 25K)
Attachment I: Alaska Peer Assistance Network Information (PDF) (4 pp, 35K)
Attachment J: Internet Resources and Information (PDF) (2 pp, 24K)


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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/TRIBAL.NSF/Grants/igap_2014

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