State Innovation Grants
EPA 2007 State Innovation Grants Competition
Questions and Answers on USEPA 2007 State Innovation Grant Solicitation
The following is a list of questions that have been asked during the open solicitation period. The answer follows each question and the general topic for each question has been put in bold print. As questions continue to come in, this list will be updated during the solicitation period to provide equal access to potentially interested applicants. New questions will be located at the end of the list.
Q1. We are a non-profit organization, may we apply for the grant?
A1. No, not-for-profit entities are ineligible. Only the principal environmental regulatory agency from a state, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territory or possession (generally, where delegated authorities from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency exist for Federal environmental regulation) is eligible to apply.
Q2. We have a project that meets the Threshold Criteria, but is not related to a regulatory permitting program, would it still be considered?
A2. EPA interprets “innovation in permitting” broadly, to include alternatives (where permissible) or supplements to permitting programs, as well as pesticide licensing programs. We prefer that the proposal address our strategic focus areas, but we also want to encourage other truly innovative concepts. Our main concern would be the linkage to environmental permitting programs. The State would have to be clear about how their newly proposed innovative plan would benefit a permitting program aimed at better environmental results
Q3. Can grant administration costs be included in the project budget?
A3. Yes, administrative costs may be included in the project budget. Administrative costs are often included as “indirect costs;” alternatively, they may be proposed as “direct costs.”
Q4. We are a state university. May we apply for the grant?
A4. No, only the principal environmental regulatory agency from each State is eligible to apply for a State Innovation Grant. Universities may approach the State environmental regulatory agency with partnership proposal ideas, but the State environmental regulatory agency will make the decision about the project(s) it wishes to propose. Projects that reflect partnership with a university or other agency within the State, or with other States or Tribes, are encouraged. States may submit a single proposal from the agency alone, and may also submit one additional partnering proposal.
Q5. Would a Lean & Green initiative fit under this scope?
A5. While we have placed an emphasis in Environmental Results Program, Performance Track and Environmental Management Systems in this solicitation, it is possible that other types of projects within the theme of "innovation in permitting" could be evaluated favorably and selected under the criteria published in the solicitation. For a project to be considered under the 2007 State Innovation Grant solicitation, it must propose an “innovation in permitting.” EPA interprets “innovation in permitting” broadly, to include alternatives (where permissible) or supplements to permitting programs."
Q6. We are preparing a teaming proposal with some other States; however, with the page limitations on the pre-proposal it will be difficult for us to fully describe the activities, outputs and outcomes for each partner. Do you have any suggestions as to how we might do that and stay within the page limit?
A6. One thing that you might consider is including a logic model that describes how the activities link to the project's outputs and outcomes. The activities for each of the partners might be indicated by a footnote system. This is a convenient way to describe the specific activities of each partner and how they link to the bigger project goals and it can summarize a large amount of information on a single page.
Q7. With respect to the submittal format, should we include specific labeled sections that address the threshold criteria, HQ and Regional evaluation criteria and, to the extent possible, qualitative selection factors. Or should we just ensure that all these criteria / factors are addressed somewhere within the body of the document? Which do you recommend?
A7. We don't require or recommend a specific format (e.g., whatever looks good to the reader, is convenient to the State, or might make it easier for the reviewer, etc.). Either approach would be acceptable. The format style doesn't guarantee a favorable evaluation; however, it is important to address all of the key points and criteria as identified in the solicitation. Does it make sense to you or your State to have headers to make it easier for the reviewers/evaluators to see that you've addressed each point, or are you confident that each reviewer/evaluator would be able to easily find important information somewhere in the body of the document? The format is totally up to your State.
Q8. I would like to submit an environmental project for consideration, but my company is outside of the United States.
A8. The EPA State Innovation Grants are available only to the principal environmental regulatory agencies of the 50 US States, the District of Columbia and the four US territories. A foreign entity would not be eligible. We don't know of any EPA program that would provide funding for an effort such as yours, however, you may want to inquire at the US embassy or consulate in any sovereign nation you are working in.
Q9. I have an environmental invention concept, and would like to develop the technological prototype.
A9. Due to funding limitations and other grant programs better suited to environmental technology development, Section III.D (Areas Not Eligible for Consideration) states that the SIG program will not be funding grants for the “development or demonstration of new environmental technologies”. If the State chooses to submit a proposal for this competition, all State pre-proposals must address the program criteria described in Section V (Proposal Review Information). Pre-proposals will be evaluated based on the extent, and how well, they address the specific criteria.
If you haven’t already explored other opportunities, it might be a good idea for you to explore EPA’s general website at epa.gov to conduct a search for “technology”, or specifically for “environmental technology funding” to identify other funding opportunities that may be better suited to your area of interest.
Q10. I have a private company with a lot of great ideas to benefit the environment. I often work with States. May I submit a project proposal ?
A10. Only the principal environmental regulatory agency from each State is eligible to apply for a State Innovation Grant. As a consultant, you may approach the State environmental regulatory agency with proposal ideas, but the environmental regulatory agency will make the decision about the project(s) it wishes to propose. Projects that reflect partnership with other agency(ies) within the State, or with other States and Tribes are encouraged.
If the State or proposal team wanted to subcontract or subgrant funding to a consulting firm or other entity to accomplish the work, it would be acceptable from a grants management perspective. The proposal narrative and budget should be transparent about what is being proposed. The State(s) must retain a substantive involvement in the project. States may submit a single proposal from the agency alone, and may submit up to one additional partnering proposal.
A fey factor is that the proposal be linked to an existing environmental permit, or provide an alternative to a permit with demonstrated benefits to the public health.
Q11. The solicitation states that applicants must comply with Executive Order 12372 on Intergovernmental Review Process. Is this required for submittal with the pre-proposal?
A11. No, it is not required for the pre-proposal. It would be required with the submission of the final proposal and application from applicants that are selected to continue in the competition.
Q12. Unfortunately, we will not be able to submit our pre-proposal using the recommended grants.gov route. Are there any other alternatives to the online submission ?
A12. The preferred method for submittal of pre-proposals is through grants.gov. Unlike our prior competitions, this year we are prohibited from accepting pre-proposals via e-mail or via other electronic submission method. If you need to apply through a means other than electronically via grants, please contact Sherri Walker by phone at (202) 566-2186, or by e-mail to email@example.com.