Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Program
A Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) helps communities participate in Superfund cleanup decision-making. It provides funding to community groups to contract their own technical advisor to interpret and explain technical reports, site conditions, and EPA’s proposed cleanup proposals and decisions. An initial grant up to $50,000 is available to qualified community groups.
Congress made public involvement in decision-making an important part of the Superfund process when the program was established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980. Congress wanted to ensure that the people whose lives were affected by abandoned hazardous wastes would have a say in the actions taken to clean up sites. The role of community members in the Superfund process was further strengthened in the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA). With SARA, Congress created EPA's TAG program. TAGs are available at Superfund sites on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) or proposed for listing on the NPL, and for which a response action has begun. The NPL is a list of the most hazardous waste sites nationwide.
The documents below provide an overview of the TAG program:
- Superfund Technical Assistance Grants (PDF)(5 pp, 163 K, About PDF)
- Superfund Technical Assistance Grants Spanish (PDF)(6 pp, 160 K)
Federal Regulations Concerning the TAG Program
- Final Rule on Technical Assistance Grant Program (PDF)(20 pp, 374 K)
- 40 CFR 35, Subpart M - Grants for Technical Assistance (PDF)(15 pp, 243 K)
Note: Office of Management and Budget Circulars cited in the CFR may be viewed on the Office of Management and Budget Circular Page.
- 40 CFR 30, Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations
Note: Office of Management and Budget Circulars cited in the CFR may be viewed on the Office of Management and Budget Circular Page .
On this page:
- Search Superfund Documents
- Application information
- TAG management information
- Capacity-building assistance for TAG recipients
To access the documents listed on this page, please use the document search tool below. Searching by document title or Superfund terms will generate a table of relevant results. Note: Not all documents may be available at this time. EPA continues to update its website to enhance public access to Superfund-related information.
- Superfund Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Application Forms with Instructions
Instructions (Part 1) (PDF)(28 pp, 1.6 MB) | Instructions (Part 2) (PDF)(26 pp, 6.7 MB)
This publication provides detailed instructions and the blank forms you need to apply for a TAG. The most recent forms can be found at the Office of Grants and Debarment (OGD) website (see link below). Note: Contact your Regional TAG Coordinator before filling out a TAG application.
- EPA's Office of Grants and Debarment (OGD)
**Includes updated forms and instructions for including a DUNS identification number on SF 424, which now is required for all federal assistance applications. (Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS Number request line at 1-866-705-5711.
- EPA's "How to Apply for Grants" Page
EPA's Office of Grants and Debarment (OGD) page providing tips for writing a grant proposal and preparing a budget; a grants tutorial; and grant application forms.
- Making Sure Your TAG Gets Environmental Results (PDF)(3 pp, 124 K)
Provides instructions to TAG applicants for incorporating environmental result outputs and outcomes in TAG applications, and to TAG recipient groups for reporting on environmental result outputs and outcomes in quarterly progress reports.
- EPA Grants Information
Provides information about various EPA grant and fellowship programs.
TAG Management Information
- Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs): Managing Your TAG (PDF)(10 pp, 222 K)
Provides an overview of TAG financial, reporting and record-keeping responsibilities.
- Technical Assistance Grants (TAG): How to Find and Select a Technical Advisor (PDF)(5 pp, 171 K)
Provides questions often asked by TAG recipients about finding and choosing a technical advisor.
TAG Recipient Manual
Provides detailed information and tools for managing a TAG. This information has been organized into nine separate sections for easy downloading.
Note: TAG recipients should continue to work closely with their EPA project officer/regional TAG coordinator and follow the requirements specified in the approved TAG agreement to make sure all TAG requirements are met.
- Section 1: Overview and First Steps (PDF)(11 pp, 319 K)
- Section 2: Tracking TAG Activities and Finances (PDF)(16 pp, 625 K)
- Section 3: Reporting Requirements (PDF)(20 pp, 294 K)
- Section 4: Procurement—Spending TAG Funds (PDF)(33 pp, 414 K)
- Section 5: Requesting Payment (PDF)(12 pp, 333 K)
- Section 6: Changing, Extending, or Ending Your TAG (PDF)(12 pp, 336 K)
- Section 7: TAG Enforcement, Termination, and Your Right to Appeal (PDF)(4 pp, 126 K)
- Section 8: Blank Forms (PDF)*(20 pp, 885 K)
- Section 9: Blank Worksheets and Other Tools (PDF)(7 pp, 389 K)
Regulations and References
October 2, 2000, Federal Register Notice: Final Rule on Technical Assistance Grant Program (PDF)(20 pp, 374 K)
EPA published the final rule for the TAG program under CERCLA on October 2, 2000. This rule is EPA's regulation for the TAG program.
- 40 CFR Part 30
EPA's general regulations for recipients of EPA grants and other EPA grants for nonprofit organizations.
- 2 CFR Part 200
Uniform Administrative Requiremnets, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
- Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars
This document, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations, outlines government-wide requirements for grants to non-profit organizations, including EPA TAGs. Circular A-110 has been relocated to 2 CFR, Part 215.
This document, Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations, establishes principles for determining the cost of grants, contracts and other agreements with non-profit organizations. Circular A-122 has been relocated to 2 CFR, Part 230.
Capacity-Building Assistance for TAG Recipients
TAG recipients can become members of organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit, that provide capacity-building assistance and required membership fees may be reimbursed by the TAG grant. These organizations can assist TAG recipients by developing ways to increase membership in the TAG group, formulating strategies to build the capacity of the TAG organization, providing assistance in reaching the broader community impacted by a given site or by connecting the TAG recipient with similar community organizations across the country. TAG recipients should work closely with their Regional TAG Coordinators if interested in this additional resource.
How is this assistance provided to TAG recipients?
The assistance can be provided online, over the phone or in person. There are a number of capacity-building organizations that provide pro-bono capacity-building assistance through their websites. (TAG grants, however, cannot reimburse any expenses associated with capacity-building staff traveling to assist TAG recipients. These expenses would need to be covered by the TAG recipient.)
Are there limitations regarding how TAG funds can be used?
TAG recipients can request capacity-building assistance from organizations that provide these resources either pro-bono or through a membership fee. TAG recipients should work with their regional TAG coordinators to ensure these membership fees are reasonable and allocable (e.g., specifically related to the TAG work being performed). Organizations that provide capacity-building assistance through a fee-for-service arrangement (charged at an hourly rate) are not specifically included in this collaboration. If assistance is to be requested from a fee-for-service organization, TAG recipients will need to follow the procurement regulations in 40 CFR 35.4210 to obtain these services.
What benefits can TAG recipients derive from capacity-building organizations?
Organizations that provide capacity-building assistance may be able to assist TAG recipients by providing networking assistance with other environmental organizations; developing communication tools for the TAG recipient to reach the broader community; formulating strategies to ensure the organization is financially sustainable; assisting the TAG grantee with organizational development and strategic planning; and developing ways for the grantee to expand their membership.
Are there additional limitations regarding how TAG recipients can use grant funding to receive capacity-building assistance?
TAG recipients cannot use capacity-building organizations in regards to actions that would be prohibited under 40 CFR Part 35 or 40 CFR Part 30. For instance, TAG recipients cannot use a capacity-building organization to lobby and the assistance provided by the capacity-building organization should be non-advocacy in nature.
Is there a list of capacity-building organizations that can assist TAG recipients?
Yes. A detailed list of capacity-building organizations that provide resources either pro-bono or through a membership fee is available.
- List of Capacity-Building Organizations (PDF)(3 pp, 688 K)
This list is provided for informational purposes only. EPA and the United States government do not endorse any particular organization or entity.
I am aware of other organizations that provide capacity-building assistance either pro-bono or through a membership fee. Who do I contact to have these organizations added to the list?
Please contact Region 1 TAG Coordinator Robert Shewack to add capacity-building organizations to the existing list. The organization proposed for listing: (a) must have prior experience providing capacity-building assistance to communities impacted by toxic sites; (b) be able to provide assistance either pro-bono or for a membership fee; (c) cannot be listed on the Excluded Parties List; and (d) no endorsement is implied.
- To find out if an organization is on the Excluded Parties List, see the "Quick Guide for Searching Exclusions"Exit
Region 1 TAG Coordinator Robert Shewack: email@example.com | 617-918-1428
TAGs in Communities
The TAG Program: By the Numbers
|Total TAGs Awarded||305|
|Superfund Sites with TAGs Awarded||292|
Map of TAG Awards
Last Update: February 2016
Click the >> for the map legend and click on the symbols on the map for information about each project.
If you are having trouble viewing the map in your browser, click the 'View larger map' link below
Communities Currently Receiving TAG support
- Region 1
Site: Brunswick Naval Air Station (Brunswick, Maine)
Recipient: Brunswick Area Citizens for a Safe Environment (BACSE) Exit
Site: Fort Devens (Fort Devens, Massachusetts)
Recipient: People of Ayer Concerned About the Environment (PACE)Exit
Site: Olin Chemical (Wilmington, Massachusetts)
Recipient: Wilmington Environmental Restoration Committee
Site: Peterson/Puritan, Inc. (Cumberland & Lincoln, Rhode Island)
Recipient: Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone Exit
Site: Sutton Brook Disposal Area (Tewksbury, Massachusetts)
- Region 2
Site: Dewey Loeffel Landfill (Nassau, New York)
- Region 3
- Region 4
Site: Fairfax St. Wood Treaters (Jacksonville, Florida)
Recipient: Fairfax Environmental Committee for Justice Inc.
Site: Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Columbus (Columbus, Mississippi)
Recipient: Memphis Town Community Action Group
Site: Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp - Navassa (Navassa, North Carolina)
Recipient: Navassa Community Economic & Environmental Re-Development Corporation
- Region 5
Site: USS Lead (East Chicago, Indiana)
Recipient: East Chicago Calumet Coalition Community Advisory Group Inc.
- Region 6
Site: Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant (Karnack, Texas)
Recipient: Caddo Lake Institute
- Region 8
Site: ACM Smelter and Refinery (Black Eagle, Montana)
Recipient: Black Eagle Civic Club
Site: Flat Creek IMM (Superior, Montana)
Recipient: Superior Technical Assistance Committee (STAC)
Site: Rocky Mountain Arsenal (USArmy) (Adams County, Colorado)
Recipient: Site Specific Advisory Board of RMA
- Region 9
Site: Iron King Mine – Humboldt Smelter (Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona)
Recipient: Community Coalition Dewey-Humboldt
Site: Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab (Site 300) (USDOE) (Livermore, California)
Recipient: Tri-Valley Citizens Against a Radioactive Environment (CARES)Exit
Site: MEW Study Area (Mountain View, California)
Recipient: PacSC - Pacific Studies Center
- Region 10
Site: Lower Duwamish Waterway (Seattle, Washington)
Recipient: Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group Exit
Site: Portland Harbor (Portland, Oregon)
Recipient: Willamette River Advocacy Group
For more information on the TAG program, please locate your state and EPA Region on the map below and contact the appropriate EPA Regional TAG Coordinator.
EPA Regional TAG Coordinators
EPA Region 1
(ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT)
EPA Region 2
(NY, NJ, PR, VI)
EPA Region 3
(PA, DE, DC, MD, VA, WV)
EPA Region 5
(IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)
EPA Region 6
(NM, TX, OK, AR, LA)
EPA Region 7
(NE, KS, IA, MO)
EPA Region 8
(MT, ND, WY, SD, UT, CO)
EPA Region 9
(CA, NV, AZ, HI, and Pacific Territories)
EPA Region 10
(WA, OR, ID, AK)