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EPA Grants

Introduction to Regulations, Policies and Guidance for EPA Grants

While Congress provides the statutory authority to award grants, there are many types of requirements, policies and guidance that must be followed to manage a grant.  Statutes enacted by Congress hold the most authority, followed by federal regulations that detail how the executive branch interprets those statutes. EPA has also developed numerous internal and external policies and guidance to ensure effective grants management.

Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a collection of general and permanent rules created by the executive agencies and departments of the Federal government. Federal regulations are the enforceable rules behind the acts that are passed into law by Congress. The EPA has adopted the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards to Non-Federal Entities guidance, which is commonly known as the Uniform Grant Guidance (UGG) (2 CFR 200). The UGG provides a government-wide framework for grants management that reduces administrative burden for non-federal entities receiving federal awards while reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse. 

Public Policy Requirements

There are cross-cutting public policy requirements applicable to federal grants, including those awarded by the EPA. The term public policy indicates that the requirement is based on social, economic, or other objectives or considerations that may be attached to the expenditure of federal funds by grantees, consortium participants, and contractors, in general, or may relate to the expenditure of federal funds for research or other specified activities.

EPA Policies and Guidance

EPA has developed numerous policies and guidance to ensure effective grants management, including EPA Orders, Recipient/Applicant Information Notices (RAIN), Grants Policy Issuances (GPI), Best Practices, and other guidance documents. These policies and guidance cover topics related to particular recipients, programs, activities or overall streamlining efforts. 

Terms and Conditions

The grant award document also contains various terms and conditions that form a legally binding agreement between EPA and the recipient organization. Terms and conditions are classified as administrative or programmatic, and EPA may establish additional terms and conditions for specific awards.

Suspension and Debarment

EPA's management authority includes an effective administrative tool to address waste, fraud, abuse, poor performance, environmental noncompliance or other misconduct. Suspension and debarment actions prevent companies and individuals from participating in government contracts, subcontracts, loans, grants and other assistance programs. The effect of suspension and debarment by a federal agency is government wide.