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USTfields Qs & As: Introduction

Q1: How many of these pilots are you going to award?
A: Up to 40 pilots will be awarded.

Q2: What do you mean by "partners"? Stakeholders? What about an UST group?
A: The definition of "partners" in the proposal guidelines (page 3) states: "The stakeholders that have agreed with the state, tribe, or intertribal consortium to participate in the implementation of the project." So, yes, the term does mean essentially what we often call "stakeholders." We are unsure of what you mean by an "UST group"; if you mean an industry group then it is conceivable that it could be a partner in a pilot.

Q3: Do we have to do cost recovery on this money?
A: As stated in the Introduction (page 3) in the proposal guidelines, OSWER Directive 9610.10A, "Cost Recovery Policy for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund" (May 24, 1994) except with respect to pre-award costs, is fully applicable to these cooperative agreements (see http://www.epa.gov/swerust1/directiv/d961010a.htm). This OSWER Directive sets forth EPA's general policy of pursuing cost recovery, except in certain limited situations.

Q4: Does the state need to describe in the proposal how it will do cost recovery?
A: No. The state should follow its state implementing agency's LUST cost recovery policy that it has worked out with the appropriate EPA Regional office. The state does not have to go into detail about this process in the application.

Q5: Are Alaskan Native Villages considered federally-recognized?
A: On page 3 of the guidance, Alaska Native villages are included in the definition of "tribe" as potential applicants for the USTfields Pilot. You would have to check with the U.S. Department of Interior (Exit EPA Disclaimerhttp://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/BIA/OIS/TribalGovernmentServices/TribalDirectory/index.htm) to see if a particular tribe is on a list of federally-recognized tribes.

Q6: Concerning cost recovery, would it be possible for an EPA Regional staff to become more involved with a state's cost recovery process? The Region is aware that the funds are provided to the state and that it is up to the state to manage the funds, but would there be any restriction on a federal government employee assisting a state with the cost recovery process if a state wanted federal assistance?
A: EPA's cost recovery policy (entitled "Cost Recovery Policy for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund," OSWER Directive 9610.10a, May 24, 1994) provides that states are responsible for all legal, programmatic, and administrative activities necessary to recover their expenditures from the LUST Trust Fund. The cost recovery policy also states that EPA's principal responsibilities in cost recovery are to provide funding, policy guidance, oversight and assistance to states. EPA may provide assistance to states in the cost recovery area in the form of guidance and program advice (e.g., helping states to develop realistic expectations for program performance and to identify effective recovery procedures). EPA's operational role in cost recovery, however, will generally be limited to pursuing recoveries in those cases where EPA responds directly to a release, and in rare cases of overfiling.

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