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Exchange Network

Exchange Network Grant Program

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EPA to Host Webinars on FY 2020 EN Grant Solicitation Notice

The FY 2020 Exchange Network Grants Program application due date has been extended until April 10, 2020, at 11:59 pm Eastern.

In support of the FY 2020 Exchange Network (EN) Grant cycle, the EPA hosted four webinars to assist interested applicants. The webinars were held on February 24, February 26, March 6, and March 17. Each webinar included the same presentation on the following topics: an overview of the EN Grants Program, critical elements of the Solicitation Notice, notable changes from FY 2019, tips for preparing and submitting your application, and common mistakes to avoid. Each webinar was followed by a question and answer session. Please note that you can find a list of the questions asked during this time below in the ‘FAQs for FY 2020 EN Grant Applicants’ document.

Interested persons can also access the webinar slide deck below (titled ‘EPA FY 2020 SN Webinar – Final) and the audio from one of the presentations (titled ‘Webinar Recording’) below.

For more information contact:

Erika Beasley, Program Manager
Information Exchange Partnership Branch, Office of Mission Support, US EPA
Phone: 202.566.2530 (beasley.erika@epa.gov)

Again, please note that the application due date has been changed to April 10, 2020, at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

Resources for Potential Applicants:

Overview

FY 2020 is the 19th year EPA will award competitive funding to eligible partners for projects through the Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program. Between FY 2002 and FY 2019, EPA provided approximately $236 million for state, tribal and territorial awards and associated program support through the grant program. As of October 2019, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 81 tribes and 5 territories have received EN grants. These grants support better environmental decisions by promoting the use of more timely and consistent data which is shareable by partners across the EN as well as by environmental professionals and the public. For descriptions of previously awarded EN Grants, please click here.

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FY 2020 Exchange Network Grant Solicitation Notice

The FY 2020 National Environmental Information Exchange Network Grant Program Solicitation Notice is now available. Applications are due to EPA by 11:59 PM Eastern time, Friday, April 10, 2020. Please note that this deadline has been extended and the FY 2020 EN Grant Solicitation Notice updated to reflect the new due date.

EPA only accepts project proposals for EN assistance agreements submitted electronically through Grants.gov, unless applicants have a waiver. EPA anticipates that it will announce selection decisions in or around August 2020, and tentatively plans to issue awards by September 30, 2020.

The primary outcome expected from Exchange Network (EN) assistance agreements is improved access to, and exchange of, high-quality environmental data from public and private sector sources. With this outcome in mind, an application’s project goals and outputs should align with and support one or more EN program priorities. Applicants are also highly encouraged to review the new FY 2020 Solicitation Notice in full, as updates have been made throughout the document. Applicants should also note that optional templates for the cover letter, project narrative, and budget narrative have been provided in the appendices.

In FY 2020, EPA expects to award over $8 million for 20-30 assistance agreements for EN projects. Most awards will be in the $50,000 to $300,000 range. Awards for an individual assistance agreements cannot exceed $200,000. EPA may make a limited number of awards to qualifying collaborative, partnership assistance agreements, with project budgets of $400,000 or less. The exact number of assistance agreements will depend on the final amount of EPA’s appropriation for the EN Grant program, the number of applications submitted to EPA by the application deadline, the budget amounts requested, and the outcome of application reviews.

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Resources for Applicants and Grantees

The following documents are intended to provide helpful guidance to applicants as they draft and finalize grant applications. Please note that these documents contain direct text from the FY2020 Exchange Network Grant Solicitation Notice.  

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EN Grant Registration Requirement

A goal of the EN is to share information about available services and reuse existing services whenever possible. To ensure that products and services are available for EN partner use and/or collaboration, Exchange Network grant applicants must commit to register any newly developed resources (required since 2011) and the reuse of existing resources (required since 2018). These registration records, previously housed in the now-retired Reusable Component Service (RCS) inventory system, can now be found via the EN grant website. Applicants can find a list of previous EN grant projects, along with direct links to the descriptions of registered components associated with the project, in the ‘Previous Exchange Network Grant Projects’ section of this website. Applicants are also encouraged to visit the E-Enterprise Community Inventory Platform (EECIP) and Shared Services Resource Catalog (SSRC) to search for project-appropriate tools, reusable components and services, EN peer contact information, and potential mentors.

At the time of grant close-out, Exchange Network grantees should work with their Regional Exchange Network Coordinator (RENC) to complete the EN grant registration as discussed above. Click <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" node="" 70647"="">here to obtain the current list of RENCs.

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Exchange Network Grants Meeting Excessive Unliquidated Obligations (ULO) Criteria

Un-liquidated Obligations (ULOs) are funds that have been awarded to grantees but that remain unspent.

EPA may include consideration when applicants have excessive ULOs on prior EN grants when making final funding decisions. Considerations will be taken based on the FY 2020 first quarter report.

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Quality Assurance Project Plan

EPA Exchange Network grants include a grant condition in the assistance agreement requiring the recipient to submit the Exchange Network Quality Assurance Reporting Form (QARF) to the EPA Regional Project Officer within 90 days of the award issuance date. The QARF is a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) tailored specifically to satisfy the unique Quality Assurance needs of the Exchange Network Grant Program. The QARF must describe for each goal and output:

  • the relevant task-specific Quality Assurance (QA) criteria.
  • how the recipient will ensure adherence with the QA criteria.
  • how the recipient will confirm and document that the project deliverable meet the QA criteria.

The QA criteria information specified above must be documented for each goal and output under the Quality Assurance Measures section of the Exchange Network QARF. The template for the Exchange Network QARF can be found below:

Quality Assurance Project Plan (PDF)

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Related Information About Grants

  • Previous;Exchange Network Grant Projects
    Review information on Exchange Network grants awarded between 2002 to 2019. Find out more about the types of activities in which states, tribes and territories are involved to support the Environmental Information Exchange Network.
  • Grants Awards Database
    Read a summary record for all non-construction EPA grants awarded in the last 10 years, including grants that were awarded before that time, but that remain open.
  • Grants and Debarment
    Understanding, managing, and applying for EPA grants.

  • Grants.gov
    Visit the federal government's single access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-making agencies.

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