West Coast Estuaries Initiative Frequently Asked Questions for 2009 Grants
The contact for the West Coast Estuaries Initiative is Daniel Steinborn in the EPA Region 10 office. He can be reached at (206) 553-2728 (or toll-free 1-800-424-4372) or by email at email@example.com. Please notify Daniel if you have difficulties submitting your proposal via www.grants.gov.
FAQ Topics - Updated December 30, 2008
What is the West Coast Estuaries Initiative?
The West Coast Estuaries Initiative is a focused effort under EPA's Targeted Watersheds Grant Program (TWG). U.S. EPA Region 10 is soliciting proposals under this announcement to support the protection and restoration of high valued coastal aquatic resources in areas threatened by growth pressure through holistic watershed protection and management approaches at the local level. The grant funds will assist local and tribal governments in managing land uses while protecting watershed functions and values. Successful projects will match proposed activities to the appropriate watershed scale to ensure environmental results.
What are "Outputs and Outcomes"? Is this something new?
Outputs and outcomes are explained in detail in Section I. of the RFP. The terms outputs and outcomes are derived from the Agency’s increased focus on environmental results (EPA Policy Order 5700.7 Environmental Results). Therefore, EPA’s priority is to support projects that are likely to achieve quantifiable outcomes within the project period. Applicants must include specific statements describing the environmental results of the proposed project in terms of well-defined "outputs" and to the maximum extent practicable, well-defined "outcomes".
The term "output" means an activity, effort, or associated work product related to an environmental goal or objective that will be produced or provided over the period of time of the project funding or by a specific date. The term "outcome" means an environmental result, effect or consequence that will occur from carrying out an environmental program or activity that is related to an environmental or programmatic goal or objective. Outcomes may be short-term (i.e., changes in learning, knowledge, attitude, skill), intermediate (i.e., changes in behavior, practice, or decisions), or long-term (i.e., changes in condition of natural resources).
All proposed projects must be linked to environmental results and demonstrate how they will contribute to the ultimate goals of clean and safe water and healthy watersheds, communities and ecosystems. Environmental results are used as a way to gauge a project's performance and are described in terms of output measures and outcome measures.
In addition to on-the-ground environmental outputs, highly relevant outputs can be behavioral, health-related, or programmatic and need to be identified in the proposal. An example is increasing watershed approach information available to local and state decision-makers who write and implement laws, ordinances, and permits. Efforts designed to increase the knowledge of decision-makers can be viewed as environmental outputs if the grantee can show or measure the improvement in the knowledge of decision-makers who are in the position to create institutional changes necessary to restore or protect the environment. In such instances, "outcomes" may not be measured typically by environmental or water quality indicators, but rather by institutional indicators related to the adoption and application of laws and regulations, and the active management of programs necessary to provide environmental protection. However, we encourage you to predict the “outcomes” in terms of an environmental benefit or reduced risk to a watershed as a result of implementing a law, regulation or program.
Please refer to the Section I. Funding Opportunity Description in the RFP for a more complete discussion and examples of outputs and outcomes as they relate to this program.
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Environmental Outputs and Outcomes
Are there other environmental outputs and outcomes other than on-the-ground projects?
Yes. We encourage tribes and local governments to propose outputs such as land use designations, watershed mitigation management approach, sub area plans, development standards, regulatory measures in comprehensive plans, and other regulations (or incentive based regulatory programs) that ensure protection and restoration of watersheds. This could be done through implementation of state planning processes such as GMA and SMA. These funds are not designed to meet current state laws that may drive site by site decision making. They can be used to enhance state required programs by moving decision making to the watershed scale.
Articulated outcomes can include projected risk reduction in a watershed through modeling or providing a range of potential improvements.
Can you provide examples that distinguish activities leading to watershed protection outcomes from more traditional and site specific restoration activities? Are both types of activities eligible?
Yes. Both site specific restoration activities and watershed-scale protection activities are generally eligible under this RFP, although EPA is encouraging proposals that address watershed scale approaches. Site specific restoration activities should be connected to or demonstrate implementation of the integration of land use decisions with watershed programs.
Watershed Protection Examples:
- Enhance and implement watershed protection and land use plans, stormwater controls and/or land development standards to maintain native vegetation and natural hydrology by protecting and restoring wetland, riparian, upland, and near shore habitats, and ecological processes.
- Refine and implement watershed and land use plans based on watershed models predicting hydrologic impacts of alternative, future land cover conditions, development scenarios, and resulting aquatic resource conditions.
- Develop and carry out laws, ordinances, and incentive programs to implement watershed programs such as systematic implementation of low impact development, land acquisition, and transfer of development rights.
- Increase data and information available to local decision-makers who write and implement laws, ordinances, and permits.
- Monitor and measure watershed indicators to report on restoration or protection activities.
- Implement watershed-based, interagency monitoring and public involvement and education efforts to establish and run stream-team type approaches that monitor and assess conditions and trends of water quality and aquatic resources.
Site-Specific Restoration Examples:
- Pulling back a dike to restore a local floodplain wetlands to buffer effects from high flow events.
- Replacing a culvert and/or drainage pipe to re-connect small stream and wetland courses (or possibly filtering swales) such that effects from stormwater are reduced.
- Demonstrating the technology and performance of septic systems that reduce nitrogen discharges to sensitive waters and recover impaired beneficial uses.
- Demonstrating BMPs to reduce effective impervious surfaces in targeted watersheds and drainages so as to protect and/or restore water quality and downstream beneficial uses, etc.
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Can the funding be used to meet EPA’s or the state's municipal stormwater permit requirements under Phase I and Phase II NPDES permits if the proposed activities meet the grant criteria?
No, the funding can not be used to meet municipal stormwater permit requirements under Phase I and Phase II NPDES permits even if the proposed activities meet the grant criteria. Federal grant funds can not be used to meet required activities under Clean Water Act regulatory programs.
Funding can be used to develop stormwater programs and projects that go beyond the geographic scope or regulatory requirements of the permit. Through this solicitation, we emphasize connections between land use decisions and watershed planning and management across watersheds. Stormwater prevention could be addressed on the watershed scale through:
- Changes to future land use patterns and practices.
- Systematic preservation and restorations of wetlands critical to maintenance and restoration of watershed hydrology.
Restoration of a watershed with stormwater impacts could include development of:
- Incentive programs for private homeowners to put in rain gardens.
- Systematic development and implementation of low impact development in sensitive basins (unless engineering analyses demonstrate that is infeasible).
These are just a few examples of the types of eligible activities that would help to address stormwater issues, yet go beyond the requirements of a Phase I or Phase II permit.
Do the same restrictions apply to areas NOT covered by a municipal stormwater permit?
No. There are many areas and jurisdictions across the region that are not covered by Phase I and Phase II NPDES municipal stormwater permits. These areas and jurisdictions do not have permit requirements; therefore, they are not restricted from proposing activities that might be required in state or EPA permits elsewhere.
Can the funds be used to develop a “comprehensive stormwater management program” that includes:
- Developing ordinances and regulations?
- Monitoring and analysis?
- Inventories of stormwater sources?
- Public education, information and communication?
- Review of existing and model stormwater regulations?
- Mapping and GIS of stormwater sources?
Yes, if you are not required to do any of these activities under an NPDES stormwater permit. Also, EPA encourages the development of ordinances and regulations that go beyond traditional site scale practices and address or prevent the cumulative impacts of stormwater across a watershed. The proposal will need to document how the various activities lead to environmental results or outcomes. The environmental outcome of a clearing and grading ordinance could be developed by projecting the number of acres to be developed over the next ten years once the ordinance is in effect. The outcome would be X number of acres cleared under the new ordinance or some subset of that X number of acres that will be protected in native vegetation.
Pollution Trading: Can the funds be used to develop a watershed-based pollution trading program?
Yes. We would expect the pollution/pollutant traded would associate with the effects of urbanization. We expect the trading to result in the reduction of the effects of future development with the end result either protection against degradation of water quality or hydrology, or restoration of water quality or hydrology.
Septic Systems: Can the funds be used as seed money for a program to identify septic systems that no longer function appropriately and start a revolving fund to assist people in replacing the system?
On the surface it appears that the scope of such an effort may be narrow and does not go beyond the basic responsibility of septic systems homeowners. It does not appear that the solution is connected to land use decisions.
EPA encourages projects that seek funding to connect appropriate/innovative technologies and patterns of developments (relying on house-hold scale septic systems) to watershed issues such as innovative septic system approaches (addressing nitrogen inputs to estuarine waters), or projects that connect the location and use of septic systems in sensitive areas to land use decisions and water quality issues.
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How can I tell if I am eligible to apply for a grant?
Entities of local governments, special purpose districts, and federally recognized Indian tribes are eligible to apply. State agencies, institutions of higher learning and non-governmental entities are not eligible to directly receive grant awards under this announcement. However, EPA strongly encourages local and tribal governments to solicit participation from these entities as local collaborators. They are eligible for subawards or sub contacts. See more detail on subawards in Section IV. Federal agencies are ineligible for subaward or subcontract.
What is the definition of a special purpose district?
From the state of Washington RCW 36.93.020, “’Special purpose district' means any sanitary district, sewer district, water district, fire protection district, drainage improvement district, drainage and diking improvement district, flood control zone district, irrigation district, metropolitan park district, drainage district, public utility district engaged in water distribution, or water distribution district."
For the purposes of this RFP, tribal and county conservation districts are eligible too.
In the state of Oregon, Oregon law, the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) at ORS §197.015 define special districts in the following manner:
“(19) "Special district" means any unit of local government, other than a city, county, metropolitan service district formed under ORS chapter 268 or an association of local governments performing land use planning functions under ORS 195.025, authorized and regulated by statute and includes but is not limited to water control districts, domestic water associations and water cooperatives, irrigation districts, port districts, regional air quality control authorities, fire districts, school districts, hospital districts, mass transit districts and sanitary districts.”
Any special district in Oregon’s officially designated Coastal Zone, will be considered an eligible special purpose district under this solicitation.
For the State of Alaska, eligible special purpose districts are limited to “coastal resource districts, under Alaska’s Coastal Management Program. Those are defined at Alaska Statute §46.40.210 in the following manner:
“(2) "coastal resource district" means each of the following that contains a portion of the coastal area of the state:
(A) unified municipalities;
(B) organized boroughs of any class that exercise planning and zoning authority;
(C) home rule and first class cities of the unorganized borough or within boroughs that do not exercise planning and zoning authority;
(D) second class cities of the unorganized borough, or within boroughs that do not exercise planning and zoning authority, that have established a planning commission, and that, in the opinion of the commissioner of commerce, community, and economic development, have the capability of preparing and implementing a comprehensive district coastal management plan under AS 46.40.030”
Any such “coastal resource district” having jurisdiction within the watersheds designated for this solicitation will be considered an eligible special purpose district.
Are local extension offices eligible under this RFP?
For the purposes of this grant RFP, EPA is including local extension offices, local conservation districts, and local ports as being eligible local organizations to apply.
Are state agencies and NGOs eligible sub-grantees for this RFP?
Yes, state agencies and NGOs are both eligible sub-grantees under this RFP.
What types of projects are eligible for funding?
EPA will give preference to multifaceted proposals that address the impacts of growth and lead to measurable outcomes or proposals that fill critical program needs leading to significant environmental results. Therefore, a wide range of activities will be eligible including, but not limited to, proposals that:
- Enhance and implement watershed protection and restoration plans, land use and transportation plans, basin plans, stormwater controls and/or land development standards to maintain native vegetation and natural hydrology by protecting and restoring wetland, riparian, upland, and near shore habitats and ecological processes.
- Refine and implement watershed, land use plans based on watershed models predicting hydrologic impacts of alternative, future land cover conditions, development scenarios, and resulting aquatic resource conditions.
- Develop and carry out laws, ordinances, and incentive programs to implement watershed programs such as systematic implementation of low impact development in sensitive basins (unless engineering analyses demonstrate that is infeasible), land acquisition, and transfer of development rights approaches and techniques.
- Increase watershed data and information available to local decision-makers who write and implement laws, ordinances, and permits. · Monitor and measure watershed indicators to report on restoration or protection activities.
- Implement watershed-based, interagency monitoring and public involvement and education efforts to establish and run stream-team type approaches that monitor and assess conditions and trends of water quality and aquatic resources.
Proposals containing a regrant program (also called pass-through or mini-grants) are eligible, but the portion that is to be regranted to third parties within the watershed via a smaller-scaled competition should account for no more than 20 percent of the requested funding amount.
Successful proposals will demonstrate how activities address the impacts of growth while achieving watershed protection and restoration goals.
Should a proposal only address one watershed or can it address several watersheds (e.g., for comparative purposes) as long as the watersheds, or the sub-units, have clearly defined boundaries?
Yes, a proposal can address one or more watersheds. EPA wants to see applicants using a watershed approach.
What types of projects are ineligible for funding?
EPA has chosen to declare certain activities ineligible for funding. These include activities required or regulated under the Clean Water Act. For example, activities for the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and required activities under Phase I and II Stormwater permits will not be funded. Activities implementing the non-regulatory component of TMDLs are eligible (e.g., the elements of a watershed plan that address non-point source pollution). Projects with an international work plan must directly and primarily benefit U.S. waters.
Under this solicitation, foreign land acquisition or proposals that contain work plans with a majority of projects to be implemented outside of U.S. borders will not be considered for funding.
What are the definitions for the “major equipment” and “major structures”?
Under this announcement, we will consider funding major equipment purchases over $10,000 if the equipment is critical to achieving the environmental outputs and outcomes described in the proposal. For the purpose of this solicitation, “major equipment” is defined as an article of property of a durable nature that normally may be expected to have a period of service of a year or more after being put into use and an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds $10,000. If your project is selected for funding and you proposed to purchase major equipment, you must demonstrate during the grant cost review process that purchasing equipment is less costly than leasing over the life of the project.
The construction of buildings or other major structures will not be funded. For the purpose of this solicitation, “major structures” is defined as an activity that results in a permanent structure constructed over a plot of land or in a body of water that normally may be expected to have a period of service of a year or more after being put into use. Examples may include, but are not limited to, buildings, dams, reservoirs, and traditional roads. We will consider funding other watershed restoration construction-type activities if they are critical to achieving the environmental outputs and outcomes described in the proposal. This includes, but is not limited to, removing and replacing culverts, removing and moving back dikes, activities associated with implementing low impact development, activities needed to upgrade problematic septic systems.
TRADITIONAL WASTEWATER FACILITIES
Will proposals to design and construct traditional wastewater treatment and/or water reclamation facilities fall into the category of “…buildings or other major structures” which will not be funded under the 2008 Targeted Watershed Grants announcement?
You are correct in your interpretation. Traditional wastewater facilities would fall under the category of buildings or other major structures, and therefore would not be eligible under this grant announcement. EPA has other distinct funding authorities, such as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, for design and construction of traditional wastewater treatment facilities which tend to cost much more than is available through this RFP.
It is the intent of this funding solicitation to go beyond traditional stormwater, septic systems, and wastewater management. Under this RFP, funding could be used for innovative projects that go beyond existing regulatory requirements and to link those projects to efforts to minimizing the effects traditional land use planning. For example, with respect to wastewater treatment, there may be approaches to use created wetlands to further reduce nutrient pollution from entering sensitive marine waters. Similarly, traditional septic systems do not address nutrient pollution. EPA encourages projects that connect appropriate/innovative nutrient treatment technologies and patterns of developments if this was part of a larger watershed protection strategy to more broadly implement findings and recommendations.
Can organizations submit multiple or repeat proposals?
An organization may submit more than one proposal. There is no limit on the number of proposals submitted by an entity.
Can an applicant submit two applications for two different (but loosely related) projects or should they put those together into one application?
Yes, EPA will consider multiple proposals submitted from one organization. It is really up to the applicant to decide how to submit its proposals.
I have a grant proposal I am putting together for a group of Indian Tribes and the Wild Fish Conservancy. But the budget request ends up at around $120 K. The announcement says something about grants ranging from $250 K and up. Is there any reason why we could not apply for something costing less than this?
The funding range described in the RFP announcement is not an eligibility requirement. This range was our best approximation of the overall level of effort needed to address the topic in a manner which could actually influence on the ground implementation and produce document able outcomes. We recognize that there may be localities that are quite sophisticated in their respective approach to watershed protection or where the local collaborations are far enough along so that only a smaller component of the overall project approach requires additional funding. Therefore, we are willing to consider proposals with funding requests under $250,000. However, they will need to meet the expressed intent and criteria of the RFP and compete against comprehensive proposals.
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Is there a match requirement?
Section III, B of the RFP states that a minimum non-federal match of 25% of the total cost of the project is required. The match may be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Monies from other federal sources, unless specified by law, may not count toward the match.
Regarding the 25% match requirement, is that 25% of the requested amount, or 25% of the requested amount + match?
In the solicitation announcement, EPA states that the match must cover 25% of the total cost of the project(s). This means that EPA will support up to 75% of the project. For example, if the total cost of the project is $833,333, the applicant must be able to provide $208,333 in matching funds or services. In this example, the federally funded portion of the project would be $625,000.
Can the state provide some of the in-kind match?
Yes, all or part of the match can come from the state. It can be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions.
What is considered to be an in-kind match?
In-kind contributions can be use of volunteers, and/or donated time, equipment, expertise, etc., consistent with the regulations governing matching fund requirements (40 CFR 31.24 or 40 CFR 30.23).
How do I "certify" my match?
The procedures relating to match certification are standard for all EPA grants. In general, the nominee should verify that a match is committed by appending letters from the party (on its own letterhead) that is supplying the match and the amount of the commitment.
Regarding in-kind contributions, can contributions from activities that are on-going or have been completed count toward the match requirement?
The value of the in-kind contributions must be an estimate of future contributions that will be utilized in implementing the project. Services that have already occurred can be helpful in determining what the estimate should be but cannot count toward the 25% match requirement.
The solicitation announcement states that federal funds cannot be used toward the match unless authorized by the statute governing their use. What does this mean?
This means that funds obtained via another federal grant for work within your watershed cannot be factored into the 25% match calculation. These funds can certainly be used to support or supplement the work being done, but cannot be considered "matching funds".
There are some federal statutes, however, that allow awarded funds to be used as matching dollars. (The Clean Water Act is not one of them.) For example, P.L. 638, administered through the Bureau of Indian Affairs specifically states that federal tribal money disbursed under the statute can be used for matching purposes. If a nominee wishes to use federal funds as part of the match requirement, it is incumbent upon it to provide the citation in the law that allows them to do so.
What is the value of volunteer time?
EPA's policy has been that volunteer time is worth whatever hourly wage you would pay an individual if you were to go out and hire a person to do the work that you are asking a volunteer to perform.
The information on the following site from EPA's national Grants Program may also be helpful: http://www.epa.gov/ogd/recipient/tips.htm
"Gather written statements from the volunteers testifying to their commitment to volunteer services to your program. Remember, these must be like services. For an attorney to be valued at $40.00/hr. in your program, he/she must be providing legal services to you - not driving children to football games every Saturday. These statements establish the value of the volunteered time. They also are good credibility letters from persons sufficiently impressed with you to volunteer. Volunteers who do not have the needed skills to qualify for a specific role, and who have not been paid a salary in that role, must be rated at the current minimum wage. This happens no matter how well they perform."
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How Can Contracts Be Used
Can funding be used for the applicant to make subawards, acquire contract services, or fund partnerships?
EPA awards funds to one eligible applicant as the recipient even if other eligible applicants are named as partners or co-applicants or members of a coalition or consortium. The recipient is accountable to EPA for the proper expenditure of funds.
Funding may be used to provide subgrants or subawards of financial assistance, which includes using subawards or subgrants to fund partnerships , provided the recipient complies with applicable requirements for subawards or subgrants including those contained in 40 CFR Parts 30 or 31, as appropriate. Applicants must compete contracts for services and products, including consultant contracts, and conduct cost and price analyses, to the extent required by the procurement provisions of the regulations at 40 CFR Parts 30 or 31, as appropriate. The regulations also contain limitations on consultant compensation. Applicants are not required to identify subawardees/subgrantees and/or contractors (including consultants) in their proposal/application. However, if they do, the fact that an applicant selected for award has named a specific subawardee/subgrantee, contractor, or consultant in the proposal/application EPA selects for funding does not relieve the applicant of its obligations to comply with subaward/subgrant and/or competitive procurement requirements as appropriate. Please note that applicants may not award sole source contracts to consulting, engineering or other firms assisting applicants with the proposal solely based on the firm's role in preparing the proposal/application.
Successful applicants cannot use subgrants or subawards to avoid requirements in EPA grant regulations for competitive procurement by using these instruments to acquire commercial services or products from for-profit organizations to carry out its assistance agreement. The nature of the transaction between the recipient and the subawardee or subgrantee must be consistent with the standards for distinguishing between vendor transactions and subrecipient assistance under Subpart B Section .210 of OMB Circular A-133 , and the definitions of subaward at 40 CFR 30.2(ff) or subgrant at 40 CFR 31.3, as applicable. EPA will not be a party to these transactions. Applicants acquiring commercial goods or services must comply with the competitive procurement standards in 40 CFR Part 30 or 40 CFR Part 31.36 and cannot use a subaward/subgrant as the funding mechanism.
How will an applicant's proposed subawardees/subgrantees and contractors be considered during the evaluation process described in Section V of the announcement?
Section V of the announcement describes the evaluation criteria and evaluation process that will be used by EPA to make selections under this announcement. During this evaluation, except for those criteria that relate to the applicant's own qualifications, past performance, and reporting history, the review panel will consider, as appropriate and relevant, the qualifications, expertise, and experience of:
(i) an applicant's named subawardees/subgrantees identified in the proposal/application if the applicant demonstrates in the proposal/application that if it receives an award that the subaward/subgrant will be properly awarded consistent with the applicable regulations in 40 CFR Parts 30 or 31. For example, applicants must not use subawards/subgrants to obtain commercial services or products from for profit firms or individual consultants.
(ii) an applicant's named contractor(s), including consultants, identified in the proposal/application if the applicant demonstrates in its proposal/application that the contractor(s) was selected in compliance with the competitive Procurement Standards in 40 CFR Part 30 or 40 CFR 31.36 as appropriate. For example, an applicant must demonstrate that it selected the contractor(s) competitively or that a proper non-competitive sole-source award consistent with the regulations will be made to the contractor(s), that efforts were made to provide small and disadvantaged businesses with opportunities to compete, and that some form of cost or price analysis was conducted. EPA may not accept sole source justifications for contracts for services or products that are otherwise readily available in the commercial marketplace.
What is the 20% referring to in the paragraph below regarding subgrants and subawards?
Subgrants and Subawards: Subgrants or subawards to third parties are eligible under this award. Proposals containing a subaward project (also called mini-grants) are also eligible, but the portion to be regranted to third parties within the watershed via a smaller-scaled competition should account for no more than 20 percent of the requested funding amount. Successful applicants cannot use subgrants or subawards to avoid requirements in EPA grant regulations for competitive procurement by using these instruments to acquire commercial services or products from for-profit organization to carry out its assistance agreement. The nature of the transaction between the recipient and the sub-awardee or sub-grantee must be consistent with the standards for distinguishing between vendor transactions and sub-recipient assistance under Subpart B Section 210 of OMB Circular A-133, and the definitions of “sub-award” at 40CFR 30.2(ff) or “sub-grant” at 40 CFR 31.3, as applicable. EPA will not be a party to these transactions. See Section IV for more details on subgrants and contracts with partners.
The 20% is referring to a smaller-scaled competition within the project to fund mini-grants. The 20% does not refer to funding for subgrants or contractors.
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Putting Together Your Proposal Package
What kind of materials do I need to submit?
To be considered for a West Coast Estuaries Initiative, EPA requires that each submission contain a set of common elements. Section III – Eligibility Information, Subsection C – Threshold Eligibility Criteria of the RFP states:
1. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements as described in Section III.A. Eligible Applicants.
2. Applicants must demonstrate how they will provide a match of 25 percent of the total project cost as described in Section III.B. Cost Sharing/Match Requirement and may not request federal funding in excess of $625,000. Alternatively, applicants must receive an approved match requirement exemption as described in Section III.B.
3. The proposed activities must be consistent with Section III D. Funding Restrictions.
4. Proposals must substantially comply with the application/proposed submission instructions and requirements in Section IV. Application and Submission Information or they will be rejected. Pages submitted in excess of the 12-page limitation described in Section IV.C. Content of Application Submission will not be reviewed.
5. The proposal must contain the seven components as described in Section IV.C. They include:
a. Cover Page
i. The name of the watershed to be addressed with clear identification of watershed boundary and size.
b. Project Narrative (includes 11 sections)
ii. Nominee contact information (i.e. name, affiliation, address, telephone, and e-mail of the person who we can contact).
iii. Abstract (150-word)
c. Maps – a map of the watershed and the proposed work areas must accompany the narrative text.
d. Signed SF-424.
e. Budget form SF 424A reflecting a detailed breakdown of cost by category for each project.
f. Letter(s) of Commitment.
g. A Logic Model.
6. Submissions that are faxed or emailed will not be accepted, as described in Section IV.D. Submission Dates and Times.
7. Proposals must be received in hardcopy by EPA or electronically through Grants.gov on or before the solicitation closing date and time specified in Section IV. Application and Submission Information. Proposals received after the closing date and time will be returned to the sender without further consideration.
Two copies of the proposal need to be submitted. The proposal (comprised of the Cover Page and Project Narrative) must not exceed 12 written pages double-sided and should use no less than 12-point font, single space. Pages in excess of 12 will not be reviewed. Maps, the signed SF-424, budget form SF 424A, letter(s) of commitment, and a logic model are in addition to the 12 pages.
Do you mean 12 pages with text front and back (total of 24 written pages), or 6 pages front and back (total of 12 written pages)? The double-sided reference is confusing.
The length of the grant application may be up to 6 pages of double-sided text (12 total written pages).
How can the requirement to attend two annual National Targeted Watershed Grantee Conferences be factored into an application budget, if there is not conference information at this time?
For budget estimation purposes, you should plan that each conference would be held in Washington, DC.
My organization has done a lot of work so far. Can we include other materials, such as watershed assessments, tables or graphs, pictures of outreach campaigns, etc. as appendices?
Because of the volume of material the Agency receives and to maintain an equitable and level playing field for everyone, any appendices will not be reviewed.
How quickly do I have to assemble my materials? What is the submission deadline?
The deadline for submitting proposals is February 19, 2009. Proposals must be received in hardcopy by U.S. EPA Region 10 by 4:30 PM Pacific Standard Time or stamped electronically through Grants.gov by 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.
Are there any forms required?
The Agency is requiring that two forms be submitted as part of the proposal package. A signed SF 424 form is now required at this stage. In addition, all applicants must provide a detailed breakdown of cost by category for each project and submit the information on the Standard Budget Form, SF 424A. Both forms can be found online at www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/application.htm. Selected watershed organizations will have 60 days to submit a final workplan and all other required forms.
What is "www.grants.gov"?
Applicants who wish to submit their materials electronically through the federal government’s Grants.gov web site may do so. Grants.gov allows an applicant to download a proposal or application package template and complete the package offline based on agency instructions. After an applicant completes the required proposal or application package, he or she can submit the package electronically to Grants.gov, which transmits the package to the funding agency. Nomination letter(s), letters of support, pictures, and maps will need to be scanned so that they can be submitted electronically as part of the proposal package. Pictures and/or computer generated maps must also be in an electronic format and submitted along with the proposal package.
If you wish to apply electronically via Grants.gov, the electronic submission of your proposal package must be made by an official representative of your institution who is registered with Grants.gov and authorized to sign applications for Federal assistance. For more information, go to www.grants.gov and click on "Get Registered" on the left side of the page. Note that the registration process may take a week or longer to complete. If your organization is not currently registered with Grants.gov, please encourage your office to designate an AOR and ask that individual to begin the registration process as soon as possible.
Application/proposal materials submitted through Grants.gov will be time/date stamped electronically. Complete instructions on applying through Grants.gov are provided in Attachment A of the RFP. Please note that if you experience submission problems, applicants may contact Grants.gov for assistance by phone at 1-800-518-4726 or email at www/grants.gov/help/help.jsp, and at the same time, should notify Daniel Steinborn at 206-553-2728 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any technical difficulties at any time during this process, please refer to www/grants.gov/help/help.jsp.
How far in advance do I need to register with Grants.GOV?
PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST REGISTER AT GRANTS.GOV AT LEAST A WEEK IN ADVANCE. YOU CANNOT REGISTER AT THE LAST MINUTE.
What happens after the deadline? When will the final decision be made?
All proposals received by EPA Region 10 or submitted electronically through Grants.gov by the solicitation deadline will be evaluated against the threshold criteria listed in Section III Eligibility Information of this announcement. Proposals that do not pass the threshold review will not be considered for funding, and the applicant will be so notified.
All eligible proposals will be reviewed and scored by a panel of EPA Region 10 staff, as well as representatives from outside agencies using the evaluation criteria outlined in Section V.A. Based on the review, the panel will develop a list of the most highly rated proposals. Final selection will be made by the Directors of the US EPA Region 10 Office of Water and Watersheds and the Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs.
Geographic diversity and project diversity will also be taken into account when making the final selections.
All applicants, including those who are not selected for funding, will be notified by mail. Successful applicant(s) will be invited to submit a complete application package prior to award (see 40 CFR 30.12 and 31.10) that will be due approximately 60 days after being notified. Required forms and instructions for preparing and submitting the completed application will be provided at that time.
EPA expects to announce its selections in the spring of 2009. The exact amount of funds to be awarded, specific activities, duration of the projects, and role of the EPA Project Officer will be determined in the pre-award negotiations between the selected applicant and EPA.
Who do I contact if I am having trouble submitting my proposal through www.grants.gov?
For all issues and concerns regarding submissions through www.grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726. The Contact Center hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7 am to 9 pm Eastern Standard Time. You may also send email to www.grants.gov.
How do I submit an additional question that has not been addressed in this document?
We are able to respond to questions from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification about the announcement. You may submit your questions via email to Daniel Steinborn at email@example.com.
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