Frequent Questions about Grants and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID-19 may have an impact on EPA financial assistance agreements. This information supplements the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s M-20-17 Guidance Memorandum (PDF) (March 19, 2020, OMB Guidance) and OMB's M-20-20 Memorandum (PDF) (April 9, 2020, OMB Guidance) and provides information to applicants for, and recipients of, EPA grants and cooperative agreements regarding the impacts of COVID-19. The Office of Grants and Debarment (OGD) recognizes that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and this document will be updated as needed based on additional guidance from OMB or as otherwise appropriate.
Note: For the purposes of these Q&As, the term “grant” also includes cooperative agreements.
View all frequent questions related to grants and cooperative agreements and Coronavirus (COVID-19) below.
- Grant procedures
- Allowable costs
- Disruption of operations
- Grant competitions
- Suspension and debarment
Due to the increased demands for assistance in processing unemployment claims, testing for COVID-19, and similar responses to the public health emergency, state, tribal or local governments may seek to re-assign employees working on EPA-funded grants to those projects. Can these recipients continue to charge the costs for compensating the employees to their EPA-funded grants when the employees are performing work unrelated to the EPA grants?
How would a program participant or recipient employee recoup incurred expenses associated with cancellation if the participant or employee must cancel travel to a meeting or other event either because the event was cancelled, flights were cancelled, or the participant or employee is affected by COVID-19?
Can recipients donate personal protective equipment and supplies, medical devices, medical supplies, and medicines (equipment and supplies) purchased with EPA funds to carry out the EPA grant to assist in the response to the COVID-19 situation?
Disruption of Operations
Will EPA provide a waiver to the performance period limitations in section 10 of Grants Policy Issuance 11-01 (GPI 11-01), Managing Unliquidated Obligations and Ensuring Progress under EPA Assistance Agreements, for assistance agreements impacted by COVID-19?
If a stay at home, shelter in place, or similar order is issued on a state/local/other level that affects the activities performed under a grant (e.g., the order prohibits travel required to perform monitoring or inspection activities), does that prohibit those activities from being performed under the EPA grant?
Will there be flexibility regarding inspection requirements under EPA grants to states, tribes or local governments such as those relating to RCRA large quantity generators, 3-year periodic inspection of USTs, and similar inspection requirements incorporated into the terms of EPA grants?
If an EPA grant recipient legitimately needs the immediate support of a contractor to respond to a COVID-19 situation by carrying out activities within the scope of the grant, can it hire the contractor noncompetitively and without EPA approval?
May EPA recipients and subrecipients with EPA as their cognizant or oversight agency delay filing of their Single Audits with the Federal Audit Clearinghouse due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency?