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Questions and Answers, dated November 2, 2006

AGENCY: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
TITLE: "OSWER INNOVATIONS PILOT PROJECTS"
ACTION: Request for Applications (RFA) - Questions and Answers
RFA NO: EPA‑OSWER‑IO‑06-08

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE (CFDA) NOS.:  66.810 - Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention (CEPP) Technical Assistance Grants Program;  66.611 - Environmental Policy and Innovation Grants

SUMMARY: The following are formal Agency responses to questions/comments regarding the
subject solicitation.

  1. Are local governments, including counties, eligible to apply for these grants?
  2. Yes.

  3. Are last year's recipients (and their projects) listed somewhere on the web?
  4. Yes.  Refer to: http://www.epa.gov/oswer/iwg/pilots/innovation_year.htm.

  5. How are the regional offices of EPA involved in this program?  Is there a region 9 contact?
  6. Regional offices will provide input during the selection process and will provide support to the recipients of projects that are awarded in their regions.  For the purposes of this RFA, all questions or comments regarding this competitive opportunity must be directed to the Agency contact listed in Section 7 of the RFA.

  7. Are there other regional funds available in addition to the $500,000 for this announcement?
  8. No.  The total estimated funding available under this competitive opportunity is $500,000.  EPA reserves the right to make additional awards under this competition, consistent with Agency policy, if additional funding becomes available.

  9. In the past and on average, what percentage of applications were awarded funding?
  10. In 2005, EPA awarded grants to approximately 10% of the total applicants submitting proposals under this program.

  11. What has been the most common type of project applicants have submitted?
  12. The most common types of projects received in response to this program address components of the Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC).  This does not suggest, however, that RCC-related projects will be regarded more favorably or evaluated differently from other proposals by EPA.  For a detailed listing of the variety and diversity of past projects awarded under this program refer to: http://www.epa.gov/oswer/iwg/pilots/priority_area.htm.

  13. How much funding is available to fund the FY07 projects?
  14. The total estimated funding available under this competitive opportunity is $500,000.

  15. Is increasing America’s homeland security a new priority to be funded for FY07?
  16. Yes.  Refer to Section 1(B)(2) of the RFA.

  17. Page 14 of the RFA details budget items, but indirect costs (IDC) are not specifically mentioned.  Our university (like all universities) has a standard IDC agreement with federal agencies.  Are there any restrictions on IDC for this program?
  18. No. However, applicants proposing indirect costs must include documentation of the accepted indirect rate with their proposals.

  19. How do I complete the following items on the SF-424 form:
  20. Item #4 - Applicant identifier - (Leave blank)
    Item #5a - Federal Entity Identifier - (Leave blank)
    Item #8e - Organizational Unit - (Enter the name of primary organizational unit that will undertake assistance activity)
    Item #13 - Competition Identifier # - EPA‑OSWER‑IO‑06-08

  21. Is a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) eligible to apply for funding if its current work is not for profit?
  22. No. IWG project funds are not available for award to "for-profit" companies, organizations or private individuals.

  23. Is a project eligible if the technology it is using is owned and operated by a private entity?
  24. Yes, however, organizations proposing to utilize proprietary information must provide evidence of permission to use the information.

  25. Page 15 of the RFA requires “…including responses to all Section 3(C), Threshold Criteria…,” however Section 4(B) does not state specifically where to include Section 3© responses. Do the questions in Section 3(C) require a specific response and, if so, are those pages included in the 15 pages for narrative? Where in the response should they be included?
  26. Although it is not necessary to prepare a separate statement of responses to the threshold criteria, applicants are obligated to ensure that each of the threshold criteria are satisfactorily addressed in their proposals. Accordingly, responses to the Section 3(C), Threshold Criteria will be included in the page limit for the narrative proposal.

  27. Are we to respond to each of the Section 5(A), Evaluation Criteria identified in this announcement in a separate document or include them in our narrative?
  28. Although it is not necessary to prepare a separate statement of responses to Section 5(A), Evaluation Criteria, applicants are obligated to ensure that each of the evaluation criteria are satisfactorily addressed in their proposals.

  29. Section 4(B)(3)(b), Auditing records requires "documentation of any adverse audit findings related to your organization." Can you provide any guidelines for this, such as audit findings for our entire organization, audit findings going back how far, etc.?
  30. Please provide documentation of any adverse audit findings for the entire organization going back five years or to the time of establishment of your organization, whichever is sooner.

  31. Is a 501c(6) eligible for funding?
  32. Yes.

  33. I am a professor at a university in Canada. Am I eligible to apply for funding?

    No. IWG project funds are not available for award to private individuals.

  34. In 4(B)(2)(b)IV (Programmatic Capability) and in 4(B)(2)(b)V (Environmental Results Past Performance), it ask for previous grant information. My PI and I wanted to verify that the grant information being requested in these sections are grants that she has worked on? Please advise.
  35. For both sections, the RFA requires you "submit a list of federally funded assistance agreements or non-federally funded projects...that your organization has performed within the last three years..."

  36. My PI is looking to do a sub-contract. In reading through the announcement I was unclear on what documentation will you need for this? Will you need the detailed budget, justification, and letter of support or can it be a line item in the budget? Please advise on the correct procedure for documenting a sub-contract.
  37. Applicants are not required to identify contractors or consultants in their proposal. Moreover, the fact that a successful applicant has named a specific contractor or consultant in the proposal EPA approves does not relieve it of its obligations to comply with competitive procurement requirements and subaward or subgrant procedures contained in 40 CFR Parts 30 or 31, as applicable.

  38. I need more information about the Paper Reduction Act to determine if it applies to my project.

    The Paperwork Reduction Act requires OMB approval if EPA collects information via identical questions from ten or more persons within any 12-month period. Under OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320.3(d), EPA is considered to sponsor a collection of information if it enters into a cooperative agreement with a person to collect the information. If the instrument is a grant rather than a cooperative agreement, a separate two-part test applies to determine whether the PRA applies: 1) whether the recipient is conducting the information collection at the specific request of the agency or 2) if the terms and conditions of the grant require specific approval by the agency of the collection of information or collection procedures.

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