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2005 Request for Applications

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"Conference on Collective Efforts to Provide Health and Safety Information on High Production Volume (HPV) Chemicals"

OVERVIEW:

SUMMARY:

EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) is soliciting applications for financial assistance from eligible parties to conduct two specific activities relating to the various public and private efforts to provide health and safety information on high production volume chemicals. These activities are planned to begin in FY 2005 and be completed in FY 2007. For information regarding EPA's efforts to collect information on high production volume chemicals please refer to the HPV Challenge Program website at http://www.epa.gov/chemrtk/index.htm. Examples of other information on activities related to HPV chemicals can be found at http://www.americanchemistry.com/ or http://www.environmentaldefense.org.

The first of two activities involves agenda setting, planning and conducting a National Conference which will assemble representatives of various organizations (states, local governments, tribes, NGOs, industries, academia) who are current or potential users of high production volume (HPV) data and to discuss accessing, reviewing, and using various databases containing health and safety related data, and other relevant initiatives and programs. The conference agenda, to be set by the grantee, will be designed to provide a forum for these representatives to discuss and demonstrate data access capabilities and needs including those associated with Federal and non-Federal data sources (e.g., state MSDS files, state EPCRA 312 data systems, IUR data files, TRI database, industry, Environmental Defense and other NGO resources). The conference will also provide information on other public and private activities related to providing health and safety information on HPV chemicals. The Conference will be funded in total at approximately $200K. Funding will support the conference itself and also will provide travel support for state and local participants. Selection of individuals to receive travel support will be made via a competitive process as directed by the cooperative grant recipient. The conference will last approximately 3 days and attendance is anticipated at 300 participants.

The second activity to be included in this cooperative agreement involves the conduct and administration of program to be given before the conference designed to enable users/stakeholder groups as selected by the grantee to discuss their experiences in using various public and private data bases and other information sources to meet the challenge of making technical data publicly available in a user-friendly format for diverse audiences. This activity will facilitate discussion on how to make comprehensive technical data available to a variety of difference audiences, and will allow users to thoroughly search health and safety data gathered through the various HPV programs. As part of planning for the conference, this second activity will involve the recipient of the cooperative agreement soliciting and selecting, via a competitive process, stakeholder groups who would effectively participate in this discussion. Funds will be awarded to the cooperative grantee for approximately $60K; additional funding may be available.

Initial funding for both activities will be available in FY 2005 and is expected to be approximately $160,000. Additional funding of up to approximately $160,000 may be made contingent on availability of funds in FY 2006. The second activity is expected to take place in CY 2005 and the Conference is anticipated to take place in CY 2006.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

A. Authority

EPA expects to enter into a cooperative agreement under the authority provided in section 10(a) of the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). The Administrator may make grants for research, development, and monitoring under this subsection. Section 10(g) authorizes EPA and other federal agencies to establish and coordinate a system for exchange of environmental information among federal, state, and local authorities.

B. Program Description

     1. Purpose and scope. EPA's Existing Chemicals Branch of the Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), is requesting applications to plan and conduct a National Conference. EPA will work cooperatively with the selected organization to build a broader capacity for chemical data users to work towards conducting their own research and solving their own chemical-information related issues. A second activity associated with the cooperative agreement will involve the development of criteria, and solicitation of applications from stakeholders to effectively participate in the program. Under this new cooperative agreement, it is critical to have experience and/or expertise in developing national conference agendas related to discussions about environmental data. Expertise in planning and supporting a national conference and being able to offer an established network of contacts in state public health and environmental protection departments, universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Experience in outlining criteria for the conduct of a competitive selection process and distribution plan for dissemination of allotments of resources is a critical component of this cooperative agreement.

     2. Activities to be funded. EPA will award a cooperative agreement for the collective efforts associated with various HPV chemical information related activities under section 10(a) and section 10(g) of TSCA for research, development and monitoring as well as to establish and coordinate a system for exchange of environmental information among federal, state and local authorities. Key activities to be funded under this cooperative agreement are:

          i. Conference agenda setting, planning and support to include selection of the site of the conference, development and management of pre-conference activities including marketing, development of meeting materials, collection of white papers, registration activities, and reporting out on the Conference, for example in the form of proceedings.

          ii. Administering the competitive selection, determination and distribution of travel resources to state and local conference participants.

          iii. Administering the competitive selection and distribution plans for stakeholder groups who could contribute to the public understanding of HPV.

     3. Goal and objectives. The objectives under this cooperative agreement are to facilitate the development and capacity of chemical related database users including those from for example academics, NGOs, personnel from health and environmental protection departments; to provide information on the various chemical initiatives and future planned activities to interested stakeholders; to facilitate the free exchange of ideas to consider how data sources might empower others; to develop a data user network; and to learn from other users how to improve programs and products.

C. Environmental Results

Work accomplished under this cooperative agreement will support the Agency's Strategic Plan Goal 4: Healthy Communities and Ecosystems; Objective 4.1: Chemical, Organism and Pesticide Risk; Sub-objective 4.1.3: Reduce Chemical and Biological Risks. Accordingly, the applicants for this cooperative agreement must describe how they propose to measure and evaluate the success of the activities. The expected outputs of the program include the number of persons attending the conference leading to a network of users, and the number of technical reports generated and distributed on the potential uses of various health and safety data on chemicals. The expected outcome under this agreement is an increased knowledge of health and safety data information sources on chemicals. This knowledge and understanding will enable the stakeholders to more effectively manage risks associated with chemicals.

II. Award Information

     The funding for the selected award project is in the form of a cooperative agreement. While it is anticipated that the total funding for the project will be approximately $320,000, $160,000 is expected to be available for award in FY 2005; $100,000 of which will support the Conference and $60,000 to support the second activity. It is anticipated that incremental funding of $160,000 ($100,000 to the Conference and $60,000 to the second activity) will be made available in FY 2006. At the conclusion of the first 1-year period of performance, and contingent upon satisfactory progress as certified by the EPA Project Officer, availability of funds, and EPA priorities, this incremental funding may be made available depending on the Agency budget. EPA reserves the right to reject all proposals and make no awards.

III. Eligibility Information

     1. Eligible Applicants. Programs under CFDA 66.716 are available to each State, territory and possession, and Tribal Nation of the United States, including the District of Columbia, for public and private State universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, State and local government departments, other public or private nonprofit institutions, and in some cases, individuals who have demonstrated unusually high scientific ability.

     Eligible nonprofit organizations include any organizations that meet the definition of non-profit in OMB Circular A-122. However, nonprofit organizations describes in Section 501c(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply. Universities and educational institutions must be subject to OMV Circular A-21.

     2. Cost sharing or matching. There is no cost sharing requirements for this project.

IV. Application and Submission Information

     1. Address to request application package. Karen Hoffman, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-8158; e-mail address: hoffman.karen@epa.gov.

     2. Content and form of application submission. Applications must be typewritten, double spaced in 12 point or larger print using 8.5 x 11 inch paper with minimum 1-inch horizontal and vertical margins. Pages must be numbered in order starting with the cover page and continuing through the appendices. All applications must include: Cover Letter.
  1. Name of Organization


  2.           
  3. Contact Person


  4.           
  5. Mailing address


  6.           
  7. E-mail address


  8.           
  9. Phone number and fax number


Executive Summary. The Executive Summary shall be a stand-alone document not to exceed one page containing the specifics of what is proposed and what you expect to accomplish regarding measuring or movement toward achieving project goals.

Table of contents. A one-page table listing the different parts of your application and the page number on which each part begins. Proposal narrative includes Parts I-V as identified below (not to exceed 15 pages).

     Part I - Project title. Self-explanatory.

     Part II - Objectives. A numbered list (1, 2, etc.) of concisely written project objectives.

In most cases, each objective can be stated in a single sentence. Applicants are required to include in their application/proposal, information that addresses and corresponds to the ranking factors set forth in Section V of this announcement.

     Part III-Approach and methods. Describe in detail how the project will be carried out. Describe how the system or approach will support the project goals.

     Part IV-Impact assessment. Please state how you will evaluate the success of this project in terms of measurable results. How and with what measures will the success of the Users Conference be evaluated with respect to relevant and useful exchange of information.

     Timetable. A timetable that includes what will be accomplished under each of the objectives during the project and when completion of each objective is anticipated.

     Major participants. List all affiliates or other organizations, educators, trainers and others having a major role in the proposal. Provide name, organizational affiliation, or occupation and a description of the role each will play in the project. A brief resume (not to exceed two pages) must be submitted for each major project manager, educator, support staff, or other major participant. Applicants must comply with the procurement requirements of the EPA financial assistance regulations, 40 CFR Part 30 for nonprofit organizations, and 40 CFR Part 31 for states, tribes, and local governments. Subawards/subgrants must be consistent with the definitions of these terms in 40 CFR 30.2 (ff) and 40 CFR 31.3 "Subgrant," as applicable. Simply naming an organization or individual in the application does not exempt the applicant from compliance with these provisions.

     3. Submission dates and times. You may submit an application through the mail, or through hand deliver/courier. EPA will NOT accept electronic applications. All applications must be received by Karen Hoffman no later than 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 5, 2005 or the application will not be considered. Those applications that miss the deadline will not be considered.

     4. Intergovernmental Review. Applicants should be aware that formal requests for assistance (i.e., SF 424 and associated documentation) may be subject to intergovernmental review under Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." Applicants should contact their state's single point of contact (SOC) for further information. There is a list of these contacts at the following website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/spoc.html

     5. Funding restrictions. EPA grant funds may only be used for the purposes set forth in the cooperative agreement, and must be consistent with the statutory authority for the award. Cooperative agreement funds may not be used for matching funds for other federal grants, lobbying, or intervention in federal regulatory or adjudicatory proceedings. In addition, federal funds may not be used to sue the federal government or any other governmental entity. All costs identified in the budget must conform to applicable Federal Cost Principles contained in OMB Circular A-87; A-122; and A-21, as appropriate.

     6. Other submission requirements. Application packages describing the project must be sent to EPA Headquarters by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. Please restrict applications to 15 pages. Samples of previous work may be included, and will not be counted against the 15 page limit. Application materials will not be returned. However, please note that all grant application forms must be submitted to EPA Headquarters and must contain original signatures. EPA will not accept photocopies of original signatures or e-mailed application forms with scanned signatures. All application forms with original signatures must be sent by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. EPA will NOT accept electronic applications. If application package is mailed, please submit to: Karen Hoffman, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460. If application package is hand delivered or sent by courier, please submit to: Karen Hoffman, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1201 Constitution Ave., NW; Washington, DC 20004; 202-564-8158.

     7. Confidential business information. In accordance with 40 CFR 2.203, applicants may claim all or a portion of their application/proposal as confidential business information. EPA will evaluate confidentiality claims in accordance with 40 CFR Part 2. Applicants must clearly mark applications/proposals or portions of applications/proposals they claim as confidential. If no claim of confidentiality is made, EPA is not required to make the inquiry to the applicant otherwise required by 40 CFR 2.204(c)(2) prior to disclosure.

     8. DUNS. Applicants must provide their DUNS when applying for the assistance agreement. (See Other Information).

     9. Programmatic Capability Criteria. Applicants must submit information relating to the programmatic capability criteria to be evaluated under the ranking factor(s) in Section V of this announcement. In evaluating an applicant for programmatic capability purposes, EPA will consider information provided by the applicant and may consider information from other sources including Agency files.

V. Application Review Information

Applicants will be screened to ensure that they meet all eligibility criteria and will be disqualified if they do not meet all eligibility criteria. All applications will be reviewed, evaluated and ranked by a selected panel of EPA reviewers based on the following evaluation criteria and weights (total of 100 points):

          (i) Past Performance. The application clearly demonstrates the applicant's established network and past experience with state public health and environmental groups, universities, NGOs, small business groups, industry groups. The application includes a description of the successful execution of similar projects and how lessons learned from past projects will benefit the proposed project. (15 points)

          ii) Reporting Requirements. The application describes the applicant's demonstrated ability to meet reporting requirements on prior or current assistance agreements with Federal and/or non-Federal organizations and submitting acceptable final technical reports. (15 points)

          (iii) Organizational Experience/Project Strategy. The application describes the applicant's demonstrated experience and ability in working with the described audience, applicant's experience in administering a competitive process for awarding funds; and the applicant's experience and knowledge in conference agenda setting and planning and management. Application provides information on applicant's experience in the management of Federal financial assistance, including results of audits or monitoring by the awarding agency in addition to including a well-conceived strategy to achieve the project goals and objectives and a reasonable schedule for the execution of the two major tasks associated with this project. It is important that the applicant demonstrate how the outputs and outcomes of their program will meet the goals of the program as described in Section I of this RFA. (35 points)

          (iv) Experience in various public or private chemical management activities. (15 points).

          (v) Staff Expertise/Qualifications. The application describes the qualifications, knowledge and experience of key personnel and their responsibilities. A detailed description of how the qualification and/or experience of each key personnel match with his/her responsibilities to achieve the goals of the project is important. (20 points)

     The applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a team of internal EPA experts from headquarters and the regions, by federal and/or non federal experts from outside of EPA or individuals from different divisions within the Program office or other program offices, and persons who do not have any conflicts of interest with respect to the competing proposals or applicants who are knowledgeable in the field of endeavor. The final funding decision will be made from a group of top rated proposals by the Chief of the Existing Chemicals Branch, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

VI. Award Administration Information

     1. Award notices. The Existing Chemical Control Branch in OPPT will mail an acknowledgment to applicants upon receipt of the application. Once all of the applications have been reviewed, evaluated, and ranked, applicants will be notified of the outcome of the competition.

     2. Administrative and national policy requirements. An applicant whose proposal is selected for federal funding must complete additional forms prior to award (see 40 CFR 30.12 and 31.10), and will be required to certify that they have not been debarred or suspended from participation in federal assistance awards in accordance will 40 CFR part 32.

     3. Reporting. The successful recipient will be required to submit quarterly reports and annual reports, and to submit annual financial reports. The specific information contained within the report will include at a minimum, a comparison of actual accomplishment to the objectives established for the period. The Existing Chemicals Branch may request additional information relative to the scope of the work in the cooperative agreement and which may be useful for Agency reporting under the Government Performance and Results Act.

     4. Award Administration Information. Non-profit applicants that are recommended for funding will be subject to pre-award administrative capability reviews consistent with Sections 8.b, 8.c, and 9d of EPA Order 5700.9.

     5. Disputes. Assistance agreement competition-related disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution procedures published in 70 FR (Federal Register) 3629, 3630 (January 26, 2005). Copies of these procedures may also be requested by contacting Karen Hoffman listed under Section VII. Agency Contact.

VII. Agency Contact

     Karen Hoffman, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-8158.

     A. DUNS Number: Grant applicants are required to provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. OMB has determined that there is a need for improved statistical reporting of Federal grants and cooperative agreements. Use of the DUNS number government-wide will provide a means to identify entities receiving those awards and their business relationships. The identifier will be used for tracking purposes, and to validate address and point of contact information.

A DUNS number will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the government-wide electronic portal (Grants.gov). The DUNS number will supplement other identifiers required by statute or regulation, such as tax identification numbers. Organizations can receive a DUNS number in one day, at no cost, by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-866-705-5711. Individuals who would personally receive a grant or cooperative agreement award from the Federal government apart from any business or non-profit organization they may operate are exempt from this requirement. The website where an organization can obtain a DUNS number is http://www.dnb.com. This takes 30 business days and there is no cost unless the organization requests expedited (1-day) processing, which includes a fee of $40.

B. Does this Action Apply to Me?

     This action is directed to the public in general. Assistance is generally available to States, U.S. territories or possessions, federally recognized Tribal governments and organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private nonprofit institutions and individuals. Non-profit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Action of 1995 are not eligible to apply. This program may, however, be of particular interest to public health and environmental state representatives, universities and NGOs. Because others may also be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be interested by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under Section VII. Agency Contact.

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