Environmental Justice Hazardous Substances Research Small Grants to Community Groups

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To provide financial assistance to grassroots community-based groups to support projects to design, demonstrate or disseminate practices, methods or techniques related to environmental justice. Specifically, EPA is soliciting grant applications for projects intended to examine issues related to a community's exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Issues of environmental justice often involve multiple sources of contamination, their cumulative impacts on the environment, and their effect on human health. Some of these sources may include multiple industrial facilities and the various contaminants they emit, environmental hazards at the workplace or home, transportation-related pollution, contamination from drinking water, or contamination resulting from the consumption of fish or other subsistence food. These situations may occur in urban, suburban, rural or tribal settings. A more holistic approach to environmental protection goes beyond setting limits for individual pollutants and facilities in isolation. Information must take into account the multiple impacts of all pollutants in the environment. In environmentally overburdened low-income, minority or tribal communities, a focus on the impacts from multiple environmental harms and risks can greatly assist the communities in understanding their environmental issues and developing more effective solutions to their environmental and/or public health concerns. Funding Priority: The purpose of this grant program is to provide financial assistance to affected local community-based organizations to support projects to examine issues related to a community's exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Projects must be of a research nature only, i.e., survey, research, collecting and analyzing data which will be used to expand scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. The EPA's grant regulations define research as systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied, 40 CFR 30.2(dd). Research activities under this grant program do not include development as defined in 40 CFR 30.2 (dd). The EPA has interpreted research to include studies that extend to socioeconomic, institutional, and public policy issues as well as the natural sciences. Research projects need not be limited to academic studies. EPA intends for the results of these research projects to be disseminated to members of the affected community. Funds can be used to develop a new activity or substantially improve the quality of existing programs that have a direct impact on affected communities.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Grant funds shall be used to support research activities that examine issues related to a community's exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Projects must be of a research nature only, i.e., survey, research, collecting and analyzing data which will be used to expand scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Research projects, however, need not be limited to academic studies. The EPA has interpreted research to include studies that extend to socioeconomic, institutional, and public policy issues and the natural sciences. Projects may include the following activities: (1) research related to the detection, assessment, and evaluation of the effects on and risks to human health from hazardous substances and the detection of hazardous substances in the environment; (2) design and demonstrate field methods, practices, and techniques, including assessment of environmental and ecological conditions and analysis of environmental and public health problems; (3) identification and assessment of multiple environmental harms and risks and/or public health concerns in the community; (4) case studies on practices and techniques for detecting and effectively responding to hazardous substance contamination; and (5) identification of institutional and public policy barriers to detecting, assessing and evaluating hazardous substance contamination in communities. Research cannot relate to contamination from petroleum products in accordance with the definition of hazardous substances indicated in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Section 101(14). Projects that involve incidental petroleum contamination that is mixed with other contaminants may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any training activities must be limited to training in research techniques. Funding under this assistance program is not available for general organizational support, capacity building, program development or other activities unrelated to research. No funds made available for this program shall be used for the acquisition of real property (including building) or the construction or substantial modification of any building. Grant funds also are not available for use in lobbying or underwriting legal actions, including the preparation of court testimony and hiring of expert witnesses.

Who is eligible to apply...

Affected community-based grassroots organizations. A local community-based organization is defined for this grant program as an entity/organization that is: (1) at the most basic level of the organizational hierarchy such as a grassroots group/neighborhood organization that is not affiliated with a larger national, regional or state organization; (2) located in the same area as the environmental and/or public health problem that is described in the application and where the residents of the affected community reside; (3) focused primarily on addressing the environmental and/or public health problems of the residents of the affected community; and (4) comprised primarily of members of the affected community. Affected is defined as being in the locale which is influenced or altered by the environmental and/or public health problem. An applicant must meet all of the above requirements and must explain how its organization fits each of those requirements in the application. An applicant must be a nonprofit organization as demonstrated through designation by the Internal Revenue Service as a Section 501 (c)(3) organization or through incorporation as a nonprofit organization under applicable state law in order to receive Federal funds under this cooperative agreement program. The following entities are not eligible to receive Federal funds under this cooperative agreement program: individuals; universities; state governments; local governments; tribal governments; water districts or similar entities; large non-governmental organizations such as national environmental groups; environmental justice networks; and organizations that are not located in the affected communities where the projects are found.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-87 for State and local governments, A-21 for educational institutions, and A-122 for nonprofit organizations. Eligible applicants must be able to demonstrate nonprofit status and provide documentation that they meet the definition of an affected local community based organization set forth above.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 and A-110 must be used for this program. EPA requires final applications to be made on Standard Form 424. Requests for an application kit must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, Grants Administration Division, 3903R, Washington, DC 20460 or through the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help. Additional information on the EPA grant package can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/contents.htm. Requests for Applications will specify application procedures. Potential applicants under the Environmental Justice Hazardous Substance Research Small Grants to Community Groups are to submit an original application package plus 2 copies to their respective Regional EPA Environmental Justice Office. This is a competitive grant program. The EPA Office of Environmental Justice does not accept unsolicited proposals or make non-competitive awards for this program.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

EPA will review applications or proposals in accordance with the criteria specified in the Request for Applications or Request for Initial Proposals. Applicants selected for an award under the Environmental Justice Hazardous Substances Research Small Grants program will be notified and may be requested to furnish additional information, if needed. Competitions will be conducted under EPA Order No. 5700.5, Policy for Competition in Assistance Agreements (9/12/02).

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

Deadlines will be specified in the Request for Applications for fiscal year 2004; the postmark must be by April 30, 2004. EPA plans to award grants by September each year.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

About 120 days.

Preapplication Coordination

Complete Applications as described in the solicitation, will include SF-424, SF-424A and B, Workplan, Detailed Itemized Budget, Certification Regarding Lobbying, Preaward Compliance Review Report, Biographical Sketches of Key Personnel, Quality Assurance Statement (if necessary) must be submitted to the Regional EPA Environmental Justice Office. EPA will specify the nature of the pre-application assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants in or Requests for Applications. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or officials designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. If there is no single point of contact for the state, or the state has not selected this program for review, applicants must contact directly affected state area-wide regional and local entities prior to award. (See 40 CFR 29.7(b).).

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

Appeals are subject to the provisions of 40 CFR Part 31, Subpart F and 40 CFR Part 30.63.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

EPA shall establish procedures for a careful and detailed review and evaluation of the environmental justice grants to determine whether the quality of the program being operated by the grantee warrants continued support.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Residents of affected local communities. Affected local community-based organizations as defined above.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

All awards will be made in the form of a Federal grant, each award in the amount of $25,000, to be used over a one-year period.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

FY 03 $920,000; FY 04 est $500,000; and FY 05 est not available.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

68-0108-0-1-304.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Community Education and Empowerment Project; Farm Worker Safety Initiative; Mattaponi Heritage Foundation Water Quality Monitoring Project; Detroit Summer Toxic Free Home and Garden Project; Lead Remediation in Urban Soils.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In fiscal year 2002 $1,113,000 and 74 grants were awarded. In fiscal year FY 2003, 55 grants totaling $920,000, were selected for awards, to be announced in April 2004. Awards for FY 2004 will be announced in September 2004. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Competitive applications and proposals will be selected in accordance with announced criteria. Generally, EPA will determine if the applicant meets specific administrative and management requirements. EPA will review a description of the applicant's history, goals, and plans for using the assistance funds. Factors that are particularly important in this evaluation process include: (1)whether or not the applicant group is designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization or incorporated as a non-profit under applicable state law; (2) the applicant's ability to manage the grant in compliance with EPA grant regulations; (3) the degree to which the applicant groups' members health and economic well-being of the environment are adversely affected by environmental hazardous exposure; (4) the applicant's ability to inform others in the community of the information gathered; and (5) broad representation of affected groups and individuals in the community. In general, the applicant must demonstrate that it is aware of the time commitment, resources, and dedication needed to successfully manage a grant.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The project grant may be requested for 1 year. Activities must be completed within the time frame of the project's budget period.

Formula and Matching Requirements

None.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

Recipients of grants are expected to submit final reports for EPA approval prior to receipt of the balance of grant funds.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations, non-federal entities that expend $500,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-federal entities that expend less than $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

Financial records, including all documents to support entries on accounting records and to substantiate changes to each assistance agreement must be kept available to personnel authorized to examine EPA assistance accounts. All records must be maintained until the expiration of three years from the date of submission of the Financial Status Report. If questions still remain, such as those raised as the result of an audit, related records should be retained until the matter is completely resolved.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, Section 111(c)(10).

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

40 CFR Parts 7, 12, 29, 30, 31, 32, 32(F), 33; and Public Law 101-619; OMB CIRCULAR A-122.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Contact the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed below: Region l - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont: Kathy Castagna (617) 918-1429, Davina Wysin (617) 918-1020. Region 2 - New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands: Terry Wesley (212) 637-5027, Tasha Frazier (212) 637-3861. Region 3 - Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia: Reginald Harris (215) 814-2988. Region 4 - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee: Elvie Barlow (404) 562-9650, Cynthia Peurifoy (404) 562- 9649. Region 5 - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin: Margaret Millard (312) 353-1440, Alan Walts (312) 353-8894. Region 6 - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas: Shirley Quinones (214) 665-2713, Nelda Perez (214) 665- 2209. Region 7 - Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska: Pamela K. Johnson (913) 551-7480, Monica Espinosa ( 913) 551-7058. Region 8 - Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming: Nancy Reish (303) 312-6040, Jean Belille (303) 312-6556. Region 9 - Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam: Karen Henry (415) 972-3844, Nate Lau (415) 972-3839. Region 10 - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington: Cecilia A. Contreras (206)-553-2899, Susanne Salcido (206) 553-1687.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

For information about unsolicited proposals, contact the Associate Director for Resources, Office of Environmental Justice, (2201A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 564-2515. Environmental Justice Hotline: 1-800-962-6215.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: