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IADN 2014 RFA Questions and Answers

Question Category Question Answer
Attachments / Application Forms Where should we include a list of references cited? In the 25 page limit? Or, in other attachments? References can be included either as part of the Narrative Proposal or as a separate "Other Attachment."
Budget Please clarify what if any indirect cost rate limit is for SUBCONTRACTORS under this RFA. The RFA does not specify an indirect cost rate limit for subcontractors.
Budget Is the indirect cost rate for sub-contractors limited under this RFA? The RFA does not specify an indirect cost rate limit for subcontractors.
Budget What is the timeline for match? Can we pledge match for direct project related expenses prior to the grant award date (i.e., old match)? Match must be provided during the project period (i.e., you cannot get credit for "old match.")
Coalitions If we are not interested in submitting an application covering all the threshold eligibility criteria, then can we partner with another group to submit an application? Yes, as long as you are an eligible applicant. Please refer to Section III, page 10 of the RFA for more information on “Coalitions”.
Contracting and Subawards Can an university be a subgrantee without competitive process? Yes, provided that it is a legitimate subgrant and not a procurement.
Contracting and Subawards Is it still considered a sole-source contract if you've opted to work with someone who is the authority in their field, or does a competitive process need to be held? You may include a brief description of why a sole source justification would apply, including whether this person is THE authority in the field. But remember that most services are available competitively on the open
Deadline Is the deadline for this RFA 5:00pm Central or Eastern time on June 17, 2014? The deadline for this RFA is 5:00pm Central Daylight Time (CDT) on June 17, 2014.
Eligibility I would like to know if the organizations from the federal government, such as the US Army Corps of Engineers-Engineer Research and Development Center would be considered for this call of applications. No - this opportunity is only available to organizations that would receive a grant or cooperative agreement.
Eligibility The RFA eligibility section says "foreign organizations ... are not eligible" and that "coalitions must identify which eligible organization will be the recipient of the grant and which eligible organization(s) will be subawardee(s) of the recipient". If subawardees have to be eligible, then does it follow that a foreign (Canadian) organization cannot receive funds as a subawardee of an eligible US recipient? Foreign organizations can be contractors, but not grantees/sub-grantees/coalition members. The RFA states that (1) foreign organizations and governments are not eligible applicants and that (2) only eligible applicants can participate in a coalition.
Eligibility We are interested in submitting an application only on mercury deposition. Would that be considered? Applicants must meet all of the threshold eligibility criteria as stated in Section III of the RFA.  To be considered eligible, applicants must demonstrate in their proposals how they will:
  • Collect air and precipitation samples from all five U.S. IADN stations.
  • Maintain and calibrate sampling equipment at all five U.S. IADN stations.
  • Perform chemical analyses to retain comparability and continuity with historical IADN data. IADN’s Quality Assurance Project Plan (www.epa.gov/greatlakes/monitoring/air2/iadn/resources.html) details the sampling and analytical methodology current used in IADN.
  • Submit quality-assured analytical results within 10 months of receipt of samples in their laboratory (i.e., submit data on all 2015 samples to the IADN Data Manager by October 2016).

Applicants must also demonstrate how their proposed project will achieve one or more of the outcomes listed in Section I.

Other Funding Opportunities Is this the only RFA that EPA is offering in 2014? No, this is not the only RFA that EPA will offer. An announcement will be made when information is available about any additional RFA. Please self-register at www.epa.gov/greatlakes/maillist/ to be included on a list to receive information about EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding opportunities.
Work Plan Could we have detailed information about the site operations?  I would like to see the operating budget, calibration schedule, the instrument replacement schedule, and how the site operators are supported.

A summary of the current sampling methods are in the IADN Collection of Air and Precipitation Samples Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).  This SOP can be found online at http://www.epa.gov/grtlakes/monitoring/air2/iadn/resources.html.  This SOP includes the calibration and standardization frequency, and inspection and maintenance procedures.  Applications should demonstrate how they will ensure efficient operation of the network including training of site operators and maintenance and calibration of sampling equipment.

This SOP also provides additional information on each sampling site including the names of the current site operators.  Applicants are not expected to have a binding commitment with the current site operators.  However, applications should demonstrate a plan for establishing a relationship with the site operator from the anticipated award date (August 2014) to October 2014.

For budgeting purposes, each IADN site operator currently receives about $6,000 per year through subawards or subcontracts.  This amount does not include the costs of shipping, sampling supplies, maintenance, or travel to the site.

Please refer to the workplan from the application for IADN submitted in 2009 as part of a competitive process at:

Workplan from 2009 IADN application (PDF) (25 pp, 328 K)

Work Plan Will we need to include the field instrumentation in the budget or can we use the existing instruments?  Does EPA own them? As stated in Section IV.C.2.b.i.(1) of the RFA (page 16), all sampling equipment is presently located at each site and available for use under this request.
Work Plan Is collaboration with the Canadians more than just sampling on the same days and showing method comparability?  Or do we exchange data with them in a way different than release to the public?  Do they have a say about the use of the data for publications or research?

IADN is a binational network with sites located in the U.S. and Canada. Please refer to Section IV.C.2.b. of this RFA for more information on the expectations of applicants that require close collaboration with Environment Canada including implementation of the intercomparison program at Point Petre, evaluation of common reference and calibration standards, submission of quality-assured data to the IADN Database Manager, and reporting on the status and trends of atmospheric deposition and loadings to the Great Lakes.

EPA encourages joint U.S. and Canadian publications where appropriate.  However, the applicant selected for funding may publish IADN data collected at the five U.S. stations.  Please note that draft publications should be shared with the EPA Project Officer prior to submission.

Work Plan Could I get a copy of the last application for the project?

The workplan from the application for IADN submitted in 2009 as part of a competitive process has been posted to the IADN RFA webpage.

Workplan from 2009 IADN application (PDF) (25 pp, 328 K)

Work Plan Since IADN was founded, some advances in analysis have occurred. Would USEPA be open to refinement of more efficient methods for extraction and analysis, consistent with current accepted methods in the literature? Yes, as stated in Section IV.C.2.b.i.(2) of this RFA, applicants are expected to detail the analytical methodology they will employ to measure priority toxic chemicals in air and precipitation samples, and how these methods are comparable (or better than) current IADN procedures.
Work Plan Will the stainless steel XAD-2 cartridge holders be supplied, or must they be purchased? If they must be purchased, please supply the vendor/model number. The stainless steel XAD-2 cartridge holders should be purchased. The specs for the cartridges can be found in the IADN Collection of Air and Precipitation Samples Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). This SOP can be found online at http://www.epa.gov/grtlakes/monitoring/air2/iadn/resources.html
Work Plan Is field calibration equipment (for example, flow meters, meteorological instrument verification equipment, etc.) available for the IADN network, or should funds be budgeted for this expense? Funds should be budgeted for this expense.

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