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Special Appropriation Act Projects

Through the annual appropriations process, EPA is sometimes directed to provide funding to a specific entity for particular study, purpose, or activity. These projects are not part of an established program, and EPA does not advocate or nominate drinking water, wastewater, or other water quality infrastructure projects for SAAP funding.

If you are a community or other entity that has been identified in one of EPA's appropriations acts to receive such funding, the information on this page will be of interest to you if:

  • you are responsible for getting the funding for the project, or

  • you will be responsible for overseeing the project to completion.

The information explains how to apply for the funding, get paid, and what your responsibilities are after you have received the funding. It contains links to necessary forms and applicable regulations.

Regional Delegation


Except for select demonstration projects, which are managed by EPA headquarters, SAAP grants are awarded and administered by the EPA Regions. Each EPA region has a slightly unique process for managing SAAPs. For example, some regions will ask you to work with a state office, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or a contractor during some or all of the pre-award and/or post-award phases of the grant. The approach might even vary by state within a given EPA region.

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This page provides only generic SAAP grant information. For information specific to your region/state, please contact your EPA project officer. If you are not sure who your EPA project officer is, contact the SAAP coordinator for your EPA region:

EPA Region States Coordinator Email
1 CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT Mark Spinale Spinale.Mark@epa.gov
2 NJ, NY, PR Denis Durack Durack.Denis@epa.gov
3 DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV Chuck Fogg Fogg.Charles@epa.gov
4 AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN Thomas Cooney Cooney.Thomas@epa.gov
5 IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI Steffanie Crossland crossland.steffanie@epa.gov
6 AR, LA, NM, OK, TX Dena Hurst Hurst.Dena@epa.gov
7 IA, KS, MO, NE Christopher Simmons simmons.christopher@epa.gov
8 CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY Bruce Cooper Cooper.Bruce@epa.gov
9 AZ, CA, HI, NV Jamelya Curtis Curtis.Jamelya@epa.gov
10 AK, ID, OR, WA Joel Salter Salter.Joel@epa.gov

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Table of Contents: On this page

  1. How to Apply

  2. Project Planning and Environmental Information

  3. What Happens Next?

  4. The Rules

  5. How the Grant is Paid

  6. How the Grant Funds May be Used

  7. Oversight of Grant Management and Construction

  8. How the Grant is Completed



1. How to Apply


If your community has been identified to receive a SAAP grant, to receive the grant, you must fill out a grant application.

The grant application is a package of documents including the community’s formal request for an award and a project budget. You must also provide a description of your project, a schedule for starting and completing the project, and information on compliance with federal regulations applicable to the grant. EPA will review the application, and when the application is complete and approvable, the grant will be awarded.

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Initial applications must be submitted through Grants.gov. In order to submit your application using Grants.gov, your organization must be registered with Grants.gov. Please allow four weeks to complete registration.

Because you will register as an organization, you must have a DUNS number and an active SAM.gov registration before registering with Grants.gov. If you do not have either of these, see Steps 1 and 2 at the Grants.gov Registering as an Organization page for instructions. Note: there is no cost to get a DUNS number or to register with SAM.gov.

Access and Download Grant Application Package


Go to Apply for Grants at Grants.gov and follow the steps, which are also summarized below.

Step 1: Click on Download a Grant Application Package.

  • Type EPA-CEP-01 into the Funding Opportunity Number field and click search.
  • Download the package associated with CFDA 66.202.

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STEP 2: Complete the Grant Application Package offline.

  • Complete the SF-424.
    • You must have a resolution for the authorized representative signing the SF-424 on file and, if the authorized representative is changed, a copy of the new resolution must be submitted to EPA. An authorized representative must be a member (employee or volunteer) of the applicant organization. Persons who provide contractual services such as outside accountants, engineers, consultants or attorneys cannot serve as authorized representatives.
  • Complete the following optional forms:
    • SF-LLL, if you have lobbying activity to disclose.
    • Project Narrative Attachments Form, also called the workplan. See below for instructions and examples for developing a workplan.
    • Grants.gov Lobbying Form.
    • EPA Key Contacts Form.
    • EPA Form 4700-4.

  • Complete the appropriate budget (SF-424A or SF-424C) and assurances (SF-424B or SF-424D) as directed by your EPA Project Officer.
    • Forms SF-424A and SF-424B are available within the Grants.gov application.
    • Forms SF-424C and SF-424D, if necessary, must be attached to the Grants.gov application. They are available for download on the Grant.gov forms page.
  • Complete the Budget Narrative Attachment Form if instructed to do so by the EPA Project Officer.
    • This form will be necessary if you intend to use the grant to pay for the cost of grantee's employees to administer the project, also called force account.
    • An indirect cost proposal will also be required if you intend to use the grant to pay for indirect costs associated with administering the project (indirect costs are costs beyond salaries and fringe benefits).
  • Direct any questions that are not addressed in the application instructions, on the Grants.gov FAQ page, or in the further information provided below to your EPA Project Officer.

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STEP 3: Log into Grants.gov and submit your application.

  • Write down the tracking number provided on the submission confirmation page.
  • Separately confirm with the EPA Project Officer that EPA has received your application package.

STEP 4: Use your tracking number to Track Your Application.

Applicant Grants.gov Support


Visit the Grants.gov Applicant Resource page for FAQs, User Guides, Checklists, Training and Technical Support.

Call or email the Grants.gov Support – Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – with any technical questions or issues.

Match


In box 18 of the SF-424, you will identify all sources of funding. In 18(a), enter the amount of EPA funding you are applying for. In 18 (b-f), enter the other sources of project funding.

Note that SAAP grants require a local cost share. The local contribution is sometimes referred to as the grant match. The usual split is 55% federal grant funds with 45% local dollars. This means that for each $1.00 of eligible project costs incurred, you are reimbursed $0.55 from EPA. Therefore, it is essential that the dollar amount in line 18(a) be less than or equal to 55% of the total funding reported in 18(g).

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In your workplan, you need to identify the specific source(s) of funding your community will use for the local cost share. Possible sources of local cost share are listed below. You must also identify the status of those funding sources. For example, if you will be using a Community Development Block Grant, has that grant been awarded?

  • Private bond issues or bank loans
  • Revenue from tap fees and user charges
  • Community Development Block Grants*
  • Rural Utilities Service Assistance
  • State or County grants
  • State Revolving Loan Funds**

*Other federal assistance may an acceptable source of local match if the program’s authorizing statute or implementing regulations specifically state that the funds can be used to match other federal grants.

**If you will be using a loan from the state Clean Water or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF/DWSRF), you must advise the state CWSRF/DWSRF office of your plans. Some, but not all, loan funds available at the CWSRF/DWSRF can be used for your local cost share. The state CWSRF/DWSRF office can make sure your CWSRF/DWSRF loan includes the correct funds.

Intergovernmental Review (Executive Order 12372)


In box 18 of the SF-424, you will identify applicability of Executive Order (EO) 12372, Intergovernmental Review. The purpose of this process is to avoid any conflicts between your project and other projects in your state by making other agencies aware of your plans. All SAAP grants are subject to EO 12372; therefore, you must submit notice of your application to the State Single Point of Contact or area-wide clearinghouse. On the SF-424, you must select 19(a) and enter the date the notice was provided to either of these entities.

It can take up to 60 days for that office to review the notice. You do not need to wait to hear back before submitting your application; however, EPA will not act on the application until a response from that office is received or at least 60 days have passed.

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Project Workplan


The project workplan is a brief narrative description of what you are going to do with the funding. The project workplan should summarize 5 key aspects:

  • The existing circumstances (environmental and/or public health) that require correction.
  • The facilities that will be built to correct the problem.
  • The environmental and/or public health benefits that the project will provide.
  • The estimated total project cost, and
  • A project schedule for completing the major phases of the project, such as, bidding the contracts, awarding the contracts, construction start and finish, and final payment claim.

Some example project workplans are provided below:

  • Region 3
  • Region 4

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2. Project Planning and Environmental Information


If you are applying for a grant to pay for design and construction-phase work, you should include with the grant application package a copy of the engineering report(s) or studies that describe, evaluate, and recommend the proposed project.

Before awarding a grant for design or construction-phase work, EPA will review the project planning and environmental information.  This review examines whether the community has chosen a project that is cost-effective, environmentally sound, has public support, and is affordable.

National Environmental Policy Act


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) applies to SAAP grants. NEPA requires that EPA assess all major actions, such as infrastructure construction projects related to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater by considering all of the environmental effects of the proposed action and its alternatives. As required by federal regulations, EPA makes the results of certain environmental reviews available for public information and comment before proceeding with the proposed action. See the Environmental Review Guide for Special Appropriation Grants for an in depth, but easy to understand overview of NEPA.

Certain projects are categorically excluded and do not require an environmental assessment (EA). Where an EA is required, EPA will use the EA to determine whether or not the project is expected to have environmental impacts. If EPA finds that the proposed project will result in no significant impacts, or that all impacts can be mitigated, then the review will be documented with a preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI). If EPA finds that the proposed project will result in significant impacts, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be prepared.

FONSIs and EAs are mailed out to all interested parties and are posted electronically for a 30 day comment period. The EPA considers all comments received within 30 days of the date of the preliminary FONSI before making a decision to proceed. If no public comments are received, or if adverse comments are presented that can be addressed by additional mitigating activities, the EPA will consider the FONSI final and will notify the grantee that they may proceed with the proposed activity subject to all mitigating actions. If comments are received that indicate significant impacts will occur from the proposed action, the preliminary FONSI may be withdrawn and additional analysis may be necessary.

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Sustainable Water Infrastructure


EPA, in partnership with water industry professionals, is working to fundamentally change the way the nation views and manages its water infrastructure because:

Drinking water and wastewater facilities (supply, treatment, distribution, and collection) represent large investments of local funds, and

The cost of maintaining water infrastructure is staggering.

EPA is encouraging local utilities to plan how to maximize the useful value of the new drinking water and wastewater facilities they are building. To help water utility managers, EPA is sharing information on best practices, tools, and techniques that can help utilities save electricity, conserve water, and maximize the useful life (value) of equipment. EPA recommends all water utilities consider their equipment and facilities as their assets and shift from thinking in terms of maintenance (of the equipment) to management of their asset. Utilities will benefit by longer service life with reduced costs. EPA and industry use the terms sustainable water infrastructure and effective utility management to capture these approaches.

3. What Happens Next


Once you have submitted a complete application and the NEPA determination has been finalized, EPA will award your grant. EPA will send the grant agreement to the community for your records.

Once your community has received its grant, you are ready to build your project. At this point it is important to know how you get paid and what your responsibilities are. See [Grantee Roles and Responsibilities] for a brief overview.

4. The Rules


In accepting the grant award, the community agrees to comply with all applicable federal statutes, regulations, and policies. Chief among the applicable rules governing your grant are the following EPA regulations 2 CFR Parts 200 and 40 CFR Part 33.

If you have any questions about these standards, please contact the EPA project officer.

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5. How the Grant is Paid


EPA makes grant payments through either of two systems: the Federal Automated Standard Application for Payment (ASAP) system Exit, or the Automated Clearinghouse/Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH/EFT) system. After the grant is awarded, the EPA Las Vegas Financing Center (LVFC) will contact the grantee’s Authorized Representative (person who signed the grant application package) to explain the process for enrolling in one of the two payment systems.  If you have questions regarding the grant payment process, the LVFC can be reached by calling 702-798-2485, or by email to LVFC-grants@epa.gov. Calls and email are monitored daily.

Whichever payment system is used, the grant is paid on a reimbursable basis. Payments can be approved after allowable costs have been incurred. For most municipal governments, departments, and authorities, costs are considered incurred when posted to an accounting system as due and payable to a vendor. It is good business practice to submit requests for payment at least every few months, but no more frequently than monthly.

To request reimbursement, contact the EPA Project Officer to confirm which payment request form is used, where it is submitted, and the documentation that must accompany the request.  EPA payment request forms are available for download on the EPA Grantee Forms page.

6. How the Grant Funds May Be Used


Grant funds may be used to fund various elements of an approved project. The approved project is that which is identified in your application, workplan, and environmental documents. For example, you can use the grant to pay for construction costs only, you can use it to pay for planning or other professional services, and/or you can use it to pay for the cost of grantee's employees to administer the project.

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7. Oversight of Grant Management and Construction


EPA has the authority to review your compliance with any and all of the terms and conditions that apply to your grant including the applicable federal statues, regulations, and policies. Below is an overview of some of the things that EPA (either directly or through one of its authorized agents) might review. EPA’s authorized representatives include state oversight agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and an EPA contractor.

Procurement


EPA may review the process used to procure any EPA-funded contracts to ensure the procedures used comply with federal procurement standards and EPA’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Rules. This review could occur before any procurements are initiated to ensure your procurement system complies with EPA regulations; during an ongoing procurement (e.g., a pre-advertisement review of construction plans and specifications); or after a contract is executed with the selected contractor.

Costs incurred through contracts that were not procured in accordance with EPA grant regulations are not eligible for reimbursement; therefore, it is very important that you understand and follow these rules. Follow the links below for an overview of the procurement rules.

Contract Changes


EPA may ask to review amendments to professional services contracts and construction change orders to confirm that the work is within the scope of the grant-funded project, appears reasonable and necessary, and was properly documented. Change orders greater than $150,000 must be reviewed by EPA (or its agent) before an agreement with the contractor and grantee is reached.

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On-site Evaluations


In addition to the on-site technical inspections that grantee’s conduct during construction (either through force account or construction management services contracts), EPA also has the authority to conduct on-site evaluations during and after construction. Site visits may be performed by your EPA project officer or, at EPA’s request, by a state officer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or an EPA contractor. During site visits, EPA will:

  • Confirm that the project is being/has been constructed consistent with the workplan
  • Assess physical progress of construction
  • Evaluate the grantee’s compliance with the conditions of the EPA grant
  • Review safety precautions adopted at site
  • Review requirements for closing out the grant e.g., availability of as-built plans
  • Verify that the grantee is achieving the outputs and outcomes identified in the workplan

Verify that the system is operating as intended (final inspection).

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8. How The Grant Is Completed


Construction of your project is finished. You are finishing the last entries in your project records. At this point it is important to know how EPA closes its records of your grant.

Requesting the Final Payment


Prior to release of the final grant payment, EPA (either directly or through a state oversight agency or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) will review your status in completing the project in accordance with the terms and conditions of the EPA grant agreement. This review might include a final on site evaluation, statement/certification that the grant-funded project has been completed and is functioning as intended, and a certification that none of the federal funds awarded to the grant were used to engage in lobbying the federal government or in litigation against the United States.  This certification (EPA Form 5700-53) is necessary if the grant included funds appropriated during the federal fiscal years 2000 through 2005 and is available at the EPA Grantee Forms page. Contact your EPA project officer for specific instructions. 

Review by EPA


EPA (either directly or through one of its authorized agents) will review this package and make a recommendation to LVFC of the amount of the final grant payment.

EPA will prepare a final determination of project costs that are accepted for grant reimbursement. You will have an opportunity to resolve any questions which EPA identifies in its final determination.

Closeout of the Grant


After all issues have been resolved, EPA will close its records and advise you to do the same. Please note that in accordance with EPA’s regulations, closeout of the grant does not affect EPA’s right to disallow costs and recover funds on the basis of later EPA review.  To support such reviews, you must retain all project records for a period of three years following the submission of your final request for payment. 

The EPA Office of the Inspector General may also review your records and/or EPA's records of your project. If they do, you will receive a report which identifies any concerns or issues raised during the review.

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