EPA Frequent Questions on Grant Issues in Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency
Notification Date: March 27, 2020
Revision Date: July 21, 2020
Purpose: This Recipient/Applicant Information Notice (RAIN) informs recipients and applicants that EPA has posted Frequent Questions (FQs) to assist them in applying for and managing EPA financial assistance agreements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. These FQs supplement the March 19, 2020, OMB Guidance and will be updated as necessary.
Purpose of Revision: EPA has updated the FQs to reflect new guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in M-20-26 (June 18, 2020, OMB Guidance) issued June 18, 2020.
Summary: The Agency has posted the Frequent Questions about Grants and Coronavirus (COVID-19) to provide applicants and recipients with information regarding the process and EPA policies for requesting waivers, due date extensions, extraordinary cost allowability, and application submission issues during the public health emergency. The FQs will be updated as necessary to respond to additional questions or in response to further OMB guidance. Applicants for competitive EPA funding should direct questions to the EPA point of contact listed in the funding announcement. Current recipients of EPA funding or applicants for ongoing non-competitive funding should direct questions to the Grant Specialist and Project Officer for the assistance agreement.
Background: The March 19, 2020, OMB Guidance and the April 9, 2020, OMB Guidance authorized federal agencies to make regulatory exceptions and provide other relief to financial assistance applicants and recipients impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Additionally, EPA has received questions from applicants and recipients on a wide range of topics relating to performing or applying for EPA grants and cooperative agreements during this emergency. The June 18, 2020, OMB Guidance rescinded most of the flexibilities while providing an extension of two flexibilities: Item 1, Allowability of salaries and other project activities (item 6 in M-20-17) through September 30, 2020; and Item 2, Extension of Single Audit submission (item 13 in M-20-17) through December 31, 2020. In addition, OMB added restriction to the flexibilities allowed in Item 1, Allowability of salaries and other activities.
March 19, 2020 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-20-17, Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (March 19, 2020, OMB Guidance)
April 9, OMB Memorandum M-20-20, Repurposing Existing Federal Financial Assistance Programs and Awards to Support the Emergency Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (April 9, 2020, OMB Guidance)
June 18, 2020 OMB Memorandum M-20-26, Extension of Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to Loss of Operations (June 18, 2020, OMB Guidance)