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?
Any flexibility in inspection requirements incorporated into grant work plans and/or grant terms and conditions depends on applicable statutes and regulations. Recipients should direct requests for direction regarding inspection requirements contained in grants to their Grant Specialist and Project Officer as indicated in the answer to the FAQ “How should EPA grant recipients request that EPA provide them relief from a requirement due to COVID-19?”. EPA will consider modifying work plans, adjusting budgets, and/or extending project periods if consistent with applicable laws and regulations. On April 7, 2021, Lawrence Starfield, the Acting Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) sent a new COVID-19 letter to states, tribes, territories, and local agencies (partner agencies) recognizing the challenges they may face in meeting inspection commitments during the COVID-19 public health emergency and extending flexibilities through September 30, 2021. OECA has determined that, due to COVID-19’s continued impact on certain localities, there is a need to extend the flexibilities for adjusting inspection commitments to March 31, 2022. At that time, EPA will evaluate the need to extend this date. Please see the COVID -19 Inspection Commitment Letter – 3rd Extension (pdf) .
- Will EPA modify workplans, adjust budgets, and extend project periods of grants if necessary?
- 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
- If an EPA grant recipient is carrying out a project that will not be completed due to delays in performance what will EPA do?
- How will the Agency handle partial terminations/deobligation of funds for projects or portions of projects that cannot be rescheduled?
- 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
- Will there be any ability to reprogram or redirect federal funds or change the nature of the activities to be performed under a grant based on emergency needs or inability to conduct certain tasks?
- Are there legal limits on the amount of time EPA can extend the length of periods of performance of a grant if we cannot perform it within the original period of performance?
- As a general matter, how can states avoid losing funds already received for projects that might be delayed?
- Are grants to tribes subject to the same appropriations law rules as those for states?
- What about grants to local governments, non-profits and institutions of higher education-how are they funded?