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Children's Health Protection

Frequently Asked Questions from the Pre-Application Assistance Call


Are funds provided for the full grant period or for one year?
The project period is defined as "not to exceed 24 months." The budget amount is from $20K - $50K for the total project regardless of the length of the project period (up to 24 months).

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Can we purchase equipment (e.g., a fax machine) under this solicitation?
EPA allows the purchase of equipment in an assistance agreement if the purchase of that equipment is essential to the performance of the tasks within this project.

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What type of assistance will EPA provide (e.g., Tools For Schools training, materials)?
Many resources such as the Tools for Schools Kit are available on the Agency's websites at no charge at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/actionkit.html. No separate provision for training has been established under this solicitation. Any training that the Agency might provide would be as a result of negotiations between the organizations selected for award and their respective Region.

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What is the indirect cost rate?
The indirect cost rate is negotiable. You have the option of making all charges "direct" charges. Or, if your organization has previously negotiated a cost rate with another federal agency, that agency becomes your organization's "cognizant" agency and you must use that rate. Finally, you may propose a temporary indirect cost rate and apply to EPA to have them become the cognizant agency for your organization. Refer to the OMB website for additional information: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/attach.html Exit Disclaimer.

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Is subcontracting allowable under this solicitation?
According to the solicitation, "While only these agencies may be the direct recipients and lead project administrators of the project, other partners are eligible for compensation through sub-contracting agreement(s) between the lead agency and collaborating partners as long as the state agency maintains a substantive role in the project."

Partners are entities over whom your organization has no contractual control. You may establish a partnership without a sole-source justification or competition. However, you must recognize that the state agency is responsible for the successful delivery of the defined products under this assistance agreement regardless of the performance of the partner. The partnership sub-budget would go in the "Others" category and should address all the same budget categories (i.e., personnel, travel etc.). EPA will pay only the state organization. In turn, the state organization pays any partners or contractors.

A contractor has no interest in the outcome of the work plan and is hired to perform a job-specific task or tasks. When subcontracting to a contractor, if you name a contractor in your proposal it would be a sole-source. Therefore you would have to provide a sole source justification. You should state that your organization has a policy of full and open competition. If you will be using an existing contracting mechanism, you must tell EPA that it was competed and that your organization has procedures in place to allow for fair and open competition. This is true regardless of whether it was a sole source justification or competitive selection.

Monies from awards under this solicitation can be added to existing partnership agreements or contracts to accomplish the tasks defined in the proposal work plan. These arrangements should be explained in the proposal.

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Is a partnership with a Health Management Organization acceptable?
Yes

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What constitutes a full proposal?
"The EPA Application Kit for Federal Assistance can be obtained on the web at http://yosemi te.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/grants.htm or http://www.epa.gov/ogd/gra nts/how_to_apply.htm. The second website also contains information on completing SF-424A Budget Forms and Understanding Cost Principles for a Federal grant."

The website references should be your guide but the general elements include:

(1) Completed EPA Application Kit for Federal Assistance (SF434) (See list on Page 13 of the EPA Application Kit for Federal Assistance) with ALL BLANKS FILLED IN including:
Section A
Section B (we don't have construction)
Signed Assurance for Non-construction
[Original Signatures (on one package) and 7 copies]
Signed Debarrment and Suspension Form
Signed Certification on Lobbying (Even if one is on file)
EPA Form
Narrative Statement (ok if duplicates narrative required below; simply cross-reference)
QA Narrative Statement
Detailed Itemized Budget
Indirect Cost
Key Contacts List
Biographical Sketch of all individuals with significant impact on grant
Application Receipt Letter and Envelope/ Self Addressed
Lobbying Checklist
Abbreviated Work Plan

(2) As thoroughly outlined in Section VII. Requirements of Letters of Intent and Full Proposals - Work Plan Proposal Narrative consisting of:
(a) Contact Information Sheet;
(b) Project Summary;
(c) Project Description;
(d) Project Budget; and
(e) Appendices exactly as defined in Section VII. Requirements of Letters of Intent and Full Proposals.

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What information should be provided in the Budget?
You should list those dollars that EPA is providing. However, if your unreimbursed staff time has an impact on your ability to complete the project you should claim it in a parallel table since it will show the reviewer how the project of this scope can be accomplished within the stated budget. Donated time, etc., should be explained in the budget narrative.

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Is there a match requirement for this assistance agreement?
No, because this is a Part 30 assistance agreement.

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Once a budget is proposed, based upon the state organization's best estimate, how can required shifts in budget categories be addressed?
Part 30 allows recipients to notify the EPA project officer of the need to re-budget. Up to 10% of the value of the assistance agreement can be re-budgeted with the approval of the project officer. If the re-budgeting involves moving funds out of a contract, the state organization must explain to the project officer the impact on said contract.

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It was stated on the conference call that we needed a quality assurance statement. Is that only if we will be collecting data? If our Agency has a Quality Assurance Management Plan on file with EPA, is a reference to that fact in our proposal sufficient? If not, what else is required?
Please refer to this website for information on QA Management Plan and Project Plan requirements http://www.epa.gov/ogd/grants /assurance.htm. However, even if you have an established QA Management Plan related to another assistance agreement, you should provide documentation including information about the approval status of the QA Management Plan. Of course the Management Plan must be current and relevant to all the work (including that to be performed by other partners or contractors). The QA Project Plan must be specific to this project.

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If the Key Contacts List is not yet known at the time of application or changes between the time of application and award, how can this be handled?
The Key Contacts and their Resumes should be provided based upon the best information at the time of application. If the original list of individuals changes, the individuals substituted must be equally qualified and approved by the EPA project officer.

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Routine air monitoring is not an eligible activity under this solicitation. If the work of this proposal requires a calibration gas to set up instrumentation for the evaluation of the air quality, is that gas an allowable cost?
Yes, as long as its use is explained including its intended purpose and the science behind this requirement.

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Where the applicant for this solicitation has a pending grant application with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for related work on childhood asthma, can the applicant submit on or before October 6th, 2003 a proposal that differs from that outlined in the Letter of Intent to avoid double payment for the same work if the CDC grant award is announced after the submission of the Letter of Intent?
Yes, but only in the specific case of a CDC childhood asthma grant.

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What is the CFDA number and title for this solicitation?
66.609 "Protection of Children and the Aging (or Elderly Population) as a Fundamental Goal of Public Health and Environmental Protection (Children's Health)" as found at http://www.cfda.gov Exit Disclaimer.

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If the contractor will not be selected until after the assistance agreement is awarded, what information about the contractor must be provided in the application?
The generic qualifications of a contractor for this project may be listed in lieu of identifying a specific contractor in the application. If the contract is for consulting services, the organization must provide a resume for the consultant to the project officer as soon as the contractor has been selected.

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Who is reviewing the proposals for award?
EPA personnel from OCHP, Program Offices and Regional Offices.

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How many awards are expected under this solicitation?
9-12

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If questions arise as we develop our proposals, whom can we call and how can we get answers?
The only EPA contact you may have in the development of your proposal under this solicitation is with Bettina Fletcher, Project Officer for this solicitation. She will provide answers to administrative questions only. Qs and As from these inquiries will be posted on this same website in a timely manner. [202-564-2646 or fletcher.bettina@epa.gov]

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