Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) FY15 Funding Announcement
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, Tribal Trust and Assistance Unit, is announcing the funding opportunity for Indian Environmental General Assistance Program grant proposals from federally recognized tribal governments and intertribal consortia for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. The goal of GAP is to assist tribes in building capacity to administer tribal environmental programs consistent with the federal laws the EPA is charged with implementing, according to their individual needs.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for GAP is 66.926.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for PPGs is 66.605.
On this page:
I. IMPORTANT DUE DATES
*Note: For emailed proposals, grantee must obtain written confirmation that the proposal was received by an EPA Project Officer.
NEW! GAP Guidance was finalized May 2013 and will apply to all FY15 grants. The new GAP guidance, which includes a Guidebook for Building Tribal Environmental Capacity, will assist tribes in developing capacity to implement environmental programs. The new Guidance replaces prior guidance documents. Follow the Guidance as you develop your grant proposals. Note that some previously funded work plan activities may no longer be eligible under the new Guidance.
Capacity Indicators. Under the new Guidance, grantees must identify one or more Capacity Indicators for each work plan component. An extensive (though not exclusive) list of Capacity Indicators can be found in Appendix I of the GAP Guidance. See Section VI, A.
EPA-Tribal Environmental Plans (ETEPs). The new GAP Guidance requires each tribal government grantee to negotiate a joint EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan with the Agency. The Guidance identifies broad requirements for the content of ETEPs. EPA will be initiating the development of ETEPs with tribes beginning in Fall 2014, and continuing over the next several years. Tribes will be contacted by their EPA Project Officer about scheduling work on an ETEP. Development of an ETEP should be included as a work plan task once a schedule is jointly developed by the Tribe and EPA Project Officer. Work plan activities proposed by tribes must be linked to individual tribes ETEP once it is developed. See Section VI, B.2
Funding Announcement distributed by EPA
|Draft proposals (work plans and budgets only) MUST be postmarked, hand-delivered, submitted in GAP Online, or emailed* to the EPA Project Officer. ||January 15, 2014|
Late proposals will not be accepted.
|GAP negotiations||January - May, 2014|
|Full applications with work plan, budget, current SAM registration, and required forms/certifications MUST be postmarked, hand-delivered or emailed* to the EPA Project Officer. ||No later than May 20, 2014|
|Final work plans and budgets must be entered into GAP Online.||No later than September 1, 2014|
|GAP awards will be made to tribes and tribal consortia||By September 30, 2014|
NEW! Legal Name in Active System for Award Management (SAM) Registration Must Match BIA Federally Recognized Tribes Listing
For federally recognized tribes, the name as it appears in the most recent United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs listing of federally recognized tribes http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-06/pdf/2013-10649.pdf must be included in the SAM Entity Management Registration as the legal name.
If the name of the governing body is not identical to the name on the BIA listing, the governing body name should be included in the SAM registration as the “Doing Business As” name.
Ensure your SAM record meets these criteria – initiate change immediately if needed. See Section IV, B.
NEW! Updated Work Plan Template Form. EPA has revised the workplan template (which must be used by all grantees). The revised template has a place to list the required capacity indicators (see above) for each component. Please delete earlier versions of the template, and use the form which is included as Attachment E of this Announcement. EPA will be updating GAP Online to include a field to enter capacity indicators. In the interim, Tribes who negotiate workplans in GAP Online should use the “Measures” field to enter your capacity indicators.
NEW! Updated Budget Template Form. EPA has revised the budget template form. Use of the template is optional, but highly recommended as it reduces both the EPA and Tribal GAP staff time during the negotiation of the award by helping ensure that grantees include the required level of detail – and it automatically adds up the numbers in the budget for you! Please delete earlier versions of the template, and use the form which is included as Attachment F (PDF) (7 pp, 562K) of this Announcement. EPA will also be updating the budget template form in GAP Online.
Deadline for Entering Work Plans in GAP Online. All GAP grant recipients (except Tribes with Performance Partnership Grants (PPGs; see Section X)) must enter final revised work plans by September 1, 2014, into GAP Online at https://ofmext.epa.gov/GAP_Online/ See Section XI, C.
Supplemental Project Requests for Unmet Needs. Tribes and consortia with unmet needs that are fundable under the new GAP Guidance may submit a separate supplemental project request with a work plan and budget for the unmet needs, in addition to the base grant work plan and budget. If funds are available, unmet needs projects would be funded as part of the GAP grant. Please see the GAP Guidance for allowable activities. See Section VI, C.
Deadline for Consortia to Gather Resolutions from Eligible Tribal Governments. To receive a GAP grant (to benefit member tribes), a tribal consortium must submit supporting resolutions or other authorized/signed forms of documentation from every GAP eligible tribal government that is a member of the consortium by March 15, 2014. See Section IV A.
III. BACKGROUND AND PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
This funding announcement includes the following grant opportunities:
Information regarding the Regional Tribal Operations Committee (RTOC) support and the Tribal Environmental Leaders Summit (TELS) support funding opportunities will be announced at a later date.
- GAP Grants to tribes and tribal consortia
- Performance Partnership Grants, referenced in Section X
- Supplemental project requests for unmet needs
GAP is exempt from competition. Therefore, all applications that meet the stated requirements in program regulations, guidance and this announcement will be funded if funds are available.
IV. FUNDING AMOUNT AVAILABLE
Base Grant Funding Levels
Last year, EPA Region 10 received $32,020,918 of GAP funding for tribes and tribal consortia in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Region 10 currently has 233 tribes and 19 tribal consortia with active GAP grants.
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 FY2015, depending on funding availability, new grantees with approvable applications may receive no less than $75,000 and up to $125,000 in base grant funding to support their first year of GAP work. Funding levels are commensurate with eligible activities in the proposed work plan and environmental need. Existing grantees may receive base grant 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 a higher level of base grant funding based on the funding criteria. For Umatilla, Spokane, and Quinault, base funding may be up to $155,000; for Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Shoshone Bannock, and Warm Springs, base funding may be up to $165,000; and for Colville and Yakama, base funding may be 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 performance record of achieving outputs and outcomes to submit two-year proposals. GAP recipients with a strong performance record complete proposed activities as scheduled, submit progress reports on time, fulfill close out requirements in a timely manner, frequently draw funds down, submit annual MBE/WBE reports, and meet all other grant requirements. If funding is available, two-year work plans may be fully funded. A separate work plan and budget must be included for each year for which funding is sought. 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 the GAP program.
V. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
A. Eligible Recipients for GAP grants
All federally-recognized tribes in EPA Region 10 are eligible to receive GAP funds (refer to the BIA list of federally recognized tribes: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/08/10/2012-19588/indian-entities-recognized-and-eligible-to-receive-services-from-the-bureau-of-indian-affairs#h-7). 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 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. Active System for Award Management (SAM) Entity Management Registration is Required for Grant Application Processing, Award & Payment
- 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 projects; the consortium must agree to that grant condition.
- Documents of support such as tribal resolutions or other written certification from a duly authorized representative of each tribal government which 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 (from all eligible member tribes) that indicate support for the two year project period. New resolutions or documents of support must be submitted as needed in subsequent funding years.
- Consortia must submit supporting resolutions or other documentation described above from all eligible tribal governments by March 15, 2014.
EPA will not process grant awards or make payments to current grant recipients unless the entity (tribe or consortia) provides a valid Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and maintains an active SAM registration with current information. SAM registrations must be renewed annually. EPA Region 10 advises entities to renew SAM registrations every February to avoid a lapse in GAP funding. (Note: SAM registration was formerly called CCR registration, 2 CFR § 220.)
When EPA receives an application for funding, the Agency consults the latest BIA listing to verify the federal recognition status of tribal applicants (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-06/pdf/2013-10649.pdf). Individual tribes should apply for funding using the name of the tribe as it appears on this BIA federally recognized tribes listing. A “doing business as” name may also be included in the application in order to provide an important link between the entity name appearing on the BIA list and the name of the authorized governing body for that entity when the two names are not identical.
As stated above, in order for EPA to fund a grant application, the Legal Name in SAM must be the same as the name on the BIA federally recognized tribes listing. If the governing body name is not identical to the BIA listing, the governing body name should be included in the SAM registration as a “doing business as” name. EPA recognizes applications have been accepted in the past that did not fully meet these criteria. However, current policy requires that names now be consistent; name change updates must be completed as soon as possible.
If a name change update is needed to an existing registration, the process must begin with Dunn & Bradstreet (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform), which maintains the source information for legal names, “doing business as” names, and leadership information for an entity associated with a given DUNS number. The SAM system pulls this information from DUNS into the SAM registration as part of the update process. Once the SAM registration is submitted, processing may take weeks for a legal name change to take effect.
Because SAM requirements apply to all federal funding, maintenance of registration is typically a function of the tribal administration rather than of individual programs. To register in SAM, or to update an existing registration, go to: www.sam.gov
Please see Attachment A (PDF) (1 pp, 55K) for additional SAM information and who to contact for assistance.
C. Allowable Activities
A brief synopsis of allowable capacity-building and solid and hazardous waste management activities under the new GAP Guidance is provided below. Additionally, the American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO) has developed a flow chart to help tribes and consortia determine whether a proposed activity is eligible for funding under GAP. See Attachment B (PDF) (2 pp, 40K). for more information on allowable activities, please refer to Attachment C (PDF) (2 pp, 41K) and to the GAP Guidebook.
1. Capacity-Building Activities
GAP funding may 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 must not be used to implement any environmental programs except for solid waste and/or hazardous waste management implementation activities as described in the following section.
2. Program Capacity Building: Planning, Developing, Establishing and Implementing Tribal Waste Management and Underground Storage Tank Program Capacity
VI. TRIBAL PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT (Focus Areas)
Tribal environmental departments develop waste management program capacity through a range of planning and development activities. Please see section E.3 of the GAP Guidebook (http://www.epa.gov/tribal/GAP-guidance-final.pdf) for a non-exclusive list of tribal environmental protection program capacity indicators that EPA will use to evaluate progress under GAP. EPA’s tribal solid waste priority is the promotion of sustainable waste management programs through the development and implementation of Integrated Waste Management Plans (IWMPs). Development of IWMPs will be prioritized ahead of any implementation work that is proposed, if a Tribe does not have a plan in place. For a roadmap on developing solid waste management capacity under the new GAP Guidance, please review Attachment D (PDF) (7 pp, 75K) of this announcement.
Once a tribe has established the appropriate capacities (listed under section E.3. in the GAP Guidebook), GAP funds can be used for the following implementation activities: (a) program administration; (b) compliance and enforcement; (c) solid waste management, resource recovery, and resource conservation support; and (d) cleanup and closure. See the GAP Guidebook for more specifics on each of these implementation areas.
Please note: If a tribe proposes cleanup and closure activities, it must have already established capacity under the following indicators (as described in the GAP Guidebook): E.3.5, E.3.6, E.3.7, E.3.8, E.3.17, and E.318, including having an approved IWMP. Please see the GAP Guidebook for more specifics. If a tribe does not have an approved IWMP or has not developed the listed capacities, EPA will not prioritize providing financial assistance via GAP funds, for cleanup and closure activities. However, if the open or unauthorized dump presents an imminent or substantial endangerment to human health or the environment GAP funds would be considered for this activity.
For resources and success stories on building tribal solid and hazardous waste management programs, visit the Region 10 Tribal Solid and Hazardous Waste web page:
EPA Region 10 provides funding for activities that build the capacity of tribal governments to plan, develop, and establish environmental protection programs consistent with the federal laws the EPA is charged with implementing. Tribes must first establish core environmental protection program capacities as provided under the GAP Guidance, Appendix I, Section B.
Once core capacities are developed, GAP funding may be used to establish program-specific capacity milestones. A non-exclusive list of capacity milestones is included in the GAP Guidance, Appendix I, and Sections C-G. http://www.epa.gov/indian/GAP-guidance-final.pdf
VII. REQUIRED GRANT PROPOSAL ELEMENTS
The draft proposals, due January 15, 2014, must include the following:
1. Narrative Discussion (required in first year for all new grants; must be included as an attachment when submitting a proposal in GAP Online). Provide description of tribal background. Include anything that will be helpful for a reader to know about your tribe such as geographic location, cultural groups, number of members, and community population.
A. Work Plan
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. See Attachment E (Word file, 4 pp, 21K) for details.
8. Provide a performance evaluation process and reporting schedule in accordance with 40 CFR § 35.515. See Attachment E (Word file, 4 pp, 21K) for details.
1. General Work Plan Requirements. Applicants must submit work plans in a standardized template, provided in Attachment E (Word file, 4pp, 21K). A separate work plan for each project year in a multi-year proposal is required. Work plan components and commitments must not duplicate prior efforts; they should demonstrate clear progress and capacity is being built over time or specify new focus areas (new GAP Guidance requirement).
Duplicates of prior year work plans will be rejected by the EPA Project Officer and result in jeopardized funding.
Work plans must include:
- A description of each work plan component to be funded;
- Estimated work years (Full-Time Equivalent or FTE = 2,080 hours or one work year) and estimated funding amounts for each work plan component;
- NEW! Identification of applicable Capacity Indicators for each work plan component;
Under the new GAP Guidance, applicants must assign Capacity Indicators to work plan components. Capacity Indicators are designed to: help identify and measure the status of tribal environmental program capacity; help tribes as they plan for program capacity development under GAP; provide examples of “road-maps” for building a tribal environmental program; and, help tribes and EPA identify both short-term and long-term goals and activities.
Applicants should identify the applicable Capacity Indicators included in Appendix I of the GAP Guidance, and list those indicators on the revised work plan template (Attachment E (Word file, 4 pp, 21K) in the space indicated. Capacity Indicators should be listed by number (e.g. “C.3.1”), as designated in Appendix I.
Note that the indicators in Appendix I are a non-exclusive menu of choices. If an applicant wants to develop a capacity area not identified in Appendix I, please consult your Project Officer. Where capacities are being developed in areas not described in Appendix I, the work plan must adequately identify and describe the applicable indicators of capacity.
- Work plan commitments for each work plan component, and a timeframe for their completion;
- Expected outputs (or deliverables) for each commitment;
- Outcomes (environmental or public health results) associated with each work plan component to the extent practicable; and Quality assurance documentation (if applicable). All environmental measurements, including sampling and data compilation activities, and use of existing environmental data require an EPA approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) before beginning the activity.
- A description of the process for jointly, with EPA, evaluating and reporting progress and accomplishments under the work plan.
2. 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.
- NEW! EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan (ETEP). The new GAP Guidance requires each tribal government grantee to negotiate a joint EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan with the Agency and identifies broad requirements for the content of ETEPs. Each EPA Region is afforded flexibility to develop templates and guidance for ETEPs, provided they meet the criteria in the new GAP Guidance. Due to the large number of tribes in the Region, ETEPs will be developed over a four-year period. As tribes begin development of FY2015 work plans, the Region will contact a subset of grantees and request development of ETEPs this year; the remaining tribes will negotiate ETEPs with EPA in FY15, FY16 or FY17. Along with that request, the Region will provide a sample work plan component that includes basic steps that may be undertaken by a grantee to negotiate an ETEP, as well as an ETEP template.
- Administrative/Fiscal Assessment. Review and assess the tribe’s financial, procurement and property management procedures to ensure 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). This assessment must be repeated whenever there are substantial changes to the tribe’s financial systems or at least every four years. EPA Project Officers can provide grantees with a questionnaire to use as a guide for performing this administrative self-assessment. Corrections to deficiencies in the tribe’s administrative systems are eligible activities under GAP.
3. Success Stories/Lessons Learned. EPA requires 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 success story 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 waste materials were 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 or public health (as applicable). A sample work plan task and deliverable might be:
For more information on this requirement, contact the EPA Project Officer.
B. 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.
C. Supplemental Projects for Unmet Needs
A detailed budget must be submitted. 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) (7 pp, 562K).
Travel. All requests for travel funding must be clearly supported by work plan tasks. To be allowable, travel costs must be consistent with the capacity being built, prudent (reasonable) for the stated benefit, necessary and documented to complete a stated work plan component/commitment, and allocable (of benefit to) the grant. Travel may be integral to the purpose of the proposed project (e.g., developing capacity) or related to proposed project activities (e.g., attendance at meetings). Applicants must provide the types/purposes of travel, estimated number of trips, planned destinations and estimated number of travelers in the detailed budget. Expenditure of travel funds should be as stated in the approved work plan and budget, or by written prior approval by EPA for travel not in the work plan and budget. Any Tribal Council member travel under the GAP grant must be pre-approved by EPA and justified in the budget.
Indirect Cost Rate. Applicants who want to include indirect costs as part of a proposed grant project budget must submit a copy of the organization’s current, approved Indirect Cost Rate Agreement to the EPA Region 10 Grants and Interagency Agreement Unit. If you do not have a negotiated agreement, you must provide documentary proof that you have submitted an indirect cost rate proposal to your cognizant agency. For applicants who don’t have a current approved Indirect Cost Rate Agreement, or who haven’t submitted a proposal for one, EPA has established other options for including indirect costs in the proposed budget. Please see Attachment G (PDF) (2 pp, 59K) for details.
Individual tribes and tribal consortia may request funding for special tasks by submitting a separate supplemental project request along with their base grant work plan and budget. See the GAP Guidance for applicable and allowable activities. If sufficient GAP funds are available after base grant needs have been met, EPA may fund additional priority tasks or equipment purchases. GAP review criteria (see Section VII) will be used to determine priorities for funding supplemental activities or purchases. Additionally, applicants must clearly state the need for the project or purchases, describe how the project or purchases will address the need, and demonstrate how the tribe or consortium will complete the project or purchase within the fiscal year.
Unmet needs requests are generally limited to $75,000. More than one special project per applicant may be considered, if funds allow. A separate work plan and budget must be submitted for each supplemental project. Multiple proposals from the same applicant must be ranked in order of importance. Requests for supplemental funding are for the FY15 project year only (i.e., no multi-year proposals). Proposals must include a description of expected human health and environmental benefits.
Equipment Purchases. Equipment is defined by EPA as tangible, non-expendable, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit, although a lower dollar amount threshold can be established by the applicant. Any proposed equipment costs must be eligible, allocable and allowable under GAP. Purchase of construction equipment is not allowable under GAP. ALL equipment purchases require prior approval of the EPA Project Officer and the EPA Grants and Interagency Agreement Unit. Applicants requesting equipment must address the following requirements:
- List of each equipment item
- Estimated cost of each item
- Justification of need for each item (how item will help accomplish work plan tasks)
- Lease versus purchase analysis, if applicable (40 CFR § 31.36(b))
- Indication of the method of procurement to be followed (e.g., small purchase, sealed bid, competitive or sole source, per 40 CFR § 31.36(d))
- Price and cost analysis (40 CFR § 31.36(f))
- Requested disposition of the equipment and justification (40 CFR § 31.32(e))
The Region 10 Grants and Interagency Agreement Unit have developed a fact sheet to provide additional guidance on the purchase of equipment. See Attachment H (PDF) (2 pp, 25K).
Negotiation of Draft Work Plans/Budgets. The EPA Project Officer will contact the applicant to negotiate revisions and arrange a time frame for revisions. Applicants are responsible for completing the negotiation process and responding to revision requests within the time frames specified by the EPA Project Officer. Applicants who are not responsive to revision requests or who do not make requested revisions after three documented requests will not be awarded a GAP grant. Applicants in this situation will be encouraged to seek the needed training and apply during the next GAP 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 notify applicants through a letter or email to submit a full application package.
For a flow chart showing a typical Grant Application to Award Cycle, see Attachment I (PDF) (1 pp, 192K).
VIII. PROPOSAL REVIEW CRITERIA
GAP proposals and funding amounts will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
IX. PAST PERFORMANCE
- Proposed activities must support the purpose of GAP.
- Proposed work plan activities must support achieving goals identified in an ETEP once developed by a tribe and EPA.
- While EPA recognizes that some activities are ongoing, proposed work plans must not be duplicative (i.e., identical to previous year except for date changes); they must demonstrate clear progress from one year to the next or the application may be rejected by EPA and funding may be jeopardized.
- Proposals must include all information requested in this funding announcement.
- Work plans must describe tribal environmental program capacity building needs and documented environmental or health risks.
- Work plans must include well-defined, achievable commitments, outputs and outcomes (environmental results) and Capacity Indicators associated with each work plan component.
- Proposed work plan costs must be necessary, allowable, allocable and reasonable.
- EPA will also consider past assistance agreement funding and performance in determining whether applicant will receive funding. (See Section VIII for more details).
Past performance is a factor in EPA funding decisions. All grant applicants must demonstrate sound financial, administrative, and programmatic grant 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 or no additional funding. Merely drawing down funds is not sufficient; funds must be used for legitimate expenditures and result in anticipated outputs and outcomes; grantees must comply with the payment requirements at 40 CFR § 31.21.
- Timeliness and completeness of performance reports and close out of the grant
- Whether progress under the current work plan is being made and if not, whether corrective actions are in place
- Absence of duplicative activities in the proposed work plan and budget when compared to earlier awards
- The amount of unexpended funds in previous grants, frequency of drawdowns and fiscal accountability
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 and necessary personnel costs that will clearly reduce the balance quickly. New funds require new work commitments; a no-cost extension allows time for a grantee to successfully complete those previously committed 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. Extension requests should contain a stated plan on the work will be completed by the revised deadlines.
For recipients with documented 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 grants management challenges. Applicants who are out of compliance with the regulatory, programmatic or administrative terms and conditions of their existing award will be denied funding, receive a reduced award, and/or be designated as a ‘high risk’ grantee.
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 grants management systems, a pre-award review will be required submission of an application. EPA will contact the applicant to schedule this review if necessary.
X. FUNDING PRIORITIES
Region 10 funding priorities include:
A. Individual Tribes. The primary purpose of GAP grants is to build tribal capacity for developing and administering environmental protection programs. Therefore, providing GAP grants to individual tribal governments is our highest priority.
XI. PERFORMANCE PARTNERSHIP GRANTS
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 prioritized.
C. Supplemental Projects Addressing Unmet Needs. Tribes and consortia with unmet needs may request funding for special tasks. These requests will be considered after the funding needs of eligible tribes and consortia have been met.
Performance Partnership Grants (PPGs) are grants formed by incorporating at least two eligible EPA grants into a single grant agreement. PPGs help decrease administrative burdens and increase flexibility in how grant funds can be used. Tribes that receive two or more PPGeligible 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.
XII. FULL APPLICATION SUBMITTAL PROCESS / AGENCY CONTACTS
A. Application Submittal
Full application packages must be postmarked, hand delivered, submitted in GAP Online, or emailed to an EPA Project Officer by May 20, 2014. A full application package consists of the approved GAP narrative, work plan, detailed budget, resolutions (for consortia grant proposals), and federal forms signed by the tribal leader or designated representative. Application kits (including instructions) are available online at http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/application.htm or http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/contents.htm
For emailed proposals, applicants must obtain written confirmation that the proposal was received by an EPA Project Officer. Proposals that are mailed should include “Return Receipt Requested” forms to verify timely receipt by EPA. Applicants who hand-deliver or mail their proposal must also email an electronic copy to their EPA Project Officer to expedite proposal review.
Late proposals will not be accepted.
Grant awards will be made by September 30, 2014.
B. Agency Contacts
Please submit your proposal in GAP Online or directly to your EPA Project Officer. If you are a new applicant please submit your proposal to:
If you have any questions about the GAP application process or grant requirements, please contact an EPA Project Officer. General questions can be directed to the Tribal Trust and Assistance Unit in Region 10 at 1-800-424-4372.
US EPA, Region 10
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, ETPA-085
Seattle, WA 98101-1128
C. GAP Online
By September 1, 2014, all GAP recipients (except tribes with PPGs) must enter final revised work plans and budget attachments into GAP Online at https://ofmext.epa.gov/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/tp/grantsandfunding/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 an EPA Project Officer. Refer to the contact information provided above if you do not have an EPA Project Officer.
XIII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION / RESOURCES
A. Applicable Agency Guidance, Regulations, and OMB Circulars
GAP awards are subject to the following regulations and requirements:
Grantees must comply with the administrative and programmatic terms and conditions of the grant award. Grant applicants should carefully review and understand all grant award documents prior to accepting the grant as the agreement is legally binding. If questions or concerns arise during that review, contact your EPA Project Officer.
- 2 CFR Part 225 “Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments”
- EPA Indian Environmental General Assistance Program: Guidance and Guidebook http://www.epa.gov/indian/GAP-guidance-final.pdf
- 40 CFR Part 31 “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments”
- 40 CFR Part 35, Subpart B “Environmental Program Grants for Tribes”
- OMB Circular A-133 “Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations”
- 2 CFR Part 1536 “Requirements for a Drug-Free Workplace”
- 40 CFR Part 33 “Participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in United States Environmental Protection Agency Programs” – see specifically 40 CFR § 33.304
Applicants must clearly mark information they consider confidential. EPA will make confidentiality decisions in accordance with Agency regulations found at 40 CFR Part 2, Subpart B.
C. Internet Resources and Information
Please see Attachment J (PDF) (2 pp, 24K) for a list of some helpful websites related to the development of GAP applications and environmental programs.
XIV. LIST OF ATTACHMENTS
A. SAM Fact Sheet and Contacts for Assistance (PDF) (1 pp, 55K)
B. Eligible Activity Flow Chart (PDF) (2 pp, 40K)
C. Sample Listing of Eligible and Ineligible Activities (PDF) (2 pp, 41K)
D. Building a Sustainable Tribal Solid Waste Management Program (PDF) (7 pp, 75K)
E. Proposal Narrative and Work Plan Template (Word file, 4 pp, 21K)
F. Budget Template (PDF) (7 pp, 562K)
G. Indirect Cost Rate Information for Tribal Governments (PDF) (2 pp, 59K)
H. Prior Approval for Equipment Purchases Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 25K)
I. Visual Guide of Grant Application to Award Cycle (PDF) (1 pp, 192K)
J. Internet Resources (PDF) (2 pp, 24K)