Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Cooperative Agreements

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

Brownfield sites are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The objectives of the brownfield assessment and cleanup cooperative agreements are to provide funding: (1) to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites; (2) to capitalize a revolving loan fund (RLF) and provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites; and (3) to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites that are owned by the grant recipient. Funding Priority: CERCLA 104(k)(2)(3) provides EPA with authority for a program to provide grants to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning related to brownfield sites; to capitalize a revolving loan fund (RLF) and provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites; and to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites that are owned by the grant recipient. Brownfield sites are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. For assessment grants, an eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and up to $200,000 to address sites contaminated by petroleum. Applicants may request a waiver of the $200,000 limit up to $350,000 for sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and up to $350,000 to address sites contaminated by petroleum. Waiver requests must be based on the anticipated level of contamination, size, or ownership status of the site. These limits are mandatory under CERCLA 104(k)(4)(A). For revolving loan fund grants, an eligible entity may apply for up to $1,000,000 for an initial RLF grant. This limit is mandatory under CERCLA 104(k)(4)(A). For cleanup grants, an eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 per site. The $200,000 per site limit is mandatory under CERCLA 104(k)(3)(A). In Fiscal Year 2004, EPA anticipates limiting assessment funding to $400,000 per eligible entity unless a statutory waiver of the $200,000 per site limit is granted. The maximum amount of assessment funding available per applicant if waivers are granted is anticipated to be $700,000 per eligible entity. The Agency anticipates limiting the number of applications that it will consider for cleanup grants to five sites per eligible applicant. RLF applicants may apply for the full $1 million authorized by statute. Coalitions of eligible entities may apply together under one recipient for up to $1,000,000 per eligible entity.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

For site specific projects, the site must meet the definition of a brownfields site found at CERCLA 101(39). As part of the application process, EPA provides guidance to assist grant applicants in determining whether sites meet this definition. (1) The brownfields grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). (2) Brownfields assessment grant funds may be used to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites. (3) An RLF grant recipient must use at least 60 percent of the awarded funds to capitalize a revolving loan fund; an RLF grant recipient may use no more than 40 percent of the awarded funds for cleanup subgrants. Revolving loan funds generally are used to provide no-interest or low-interest loans for brownfields cleanups. (4) An RLF grant recipient also may use its funds to award subgrants to other eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, for brownfields cleanups on sites owned by the subgrantee; (5) Brownfields cleanup grant funds may be used to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites that are owned by the grant recipient. (6) Costs incurred under CERCLA 104(k) grants or cooperative agreements may not be used for an administrative cost, penalty or fine, a Federal cost-share requirement, a response cost for which the recipient of the grant or cooperative agreement is potentially liable under CERCLA 107, or the cost of complying with a Federal law, with the exception of the costs of laws applicable to cleanup of Brownfields sites. For information on statutory limits on the amount of funding, see Range and Average of Financial Assistance, below.

Who is eligible to apply...

Eligibility for Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants: a general purpose unit of local government; a land clearance authority or other quasi-governmental entity that operates under the supervision and control of, or as an agent of, a general purpose unit of local government; a government entity created by a State legislature; a regional council or group of general purpose units of local government; a redevelopment agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by a State; a State; an Indian Tribe other than in Alaska; an Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Alaska Native Village Corporation and the Metlakatla Indian Community. Nonprofit organizations that own the property are also eligible for cleanup grants. Nonprofit organizations must meet the definition of that term in Section 4(6) of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, Public Law 96-107, 31 U.S.C. 6101 Note. Under this definition, colleges, universities, and community colleges are eligible to apply. However, nonprofit organizations described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying activities as defined in Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 are not eligible to apply. For profit organizations are not eligible to apply for direct funding from EPA. However, for profit organizations may apply for loans made by eligible entities with RLF capitalization grants. For certain competitive funding opportunities, the Agency may limit eligibility to a particular subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency's competition policy.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

EPA may require that nonprofit organizations or eligible entities other than states, tribes, or general purpose units of local government provide documentation of eligibility. EPA may also require that applicants provide site specific information to determine whether a site qualifies as a Brownfields site under CERCLA 101(39).

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

This is a competitive grant program. EPA guidelines for Requests for Initial Proposals or Requests for Applications will specify application procedures. For EPA Regional Office contacts, see Additional Contact Information - FMR Help. The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 and A-110 must be used for this program. EPA requires final applications to be made on Standard Form 424. Requests for application kits must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, Grants Administration Division, 3903R, Washington, DC 20460 or through the appropriate EPA Regional Office listed in Additional Contact Information - FMR Help.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

This is a competitive grant program. EPA guidelines for Requests for Initial Proposals or Requests for Applications will specify award procedures. For EPA Regional Office contacts, see Additional Contact Information - FMR Help. For competitive awards, EPA will review applications, proposals or submissions in accordance with the terms, conditions, and criteria in the solicitation/announcement of the competitive funding opportunity. Competitions will be conducted in accordance with EPA policies/regulations for competing assistance agreements.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

EPA guidelines for Requests for Initial Proposals or Requests for Applications will specify application deadlines.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 180 days.

Preapplication Coordination

This is a competitive grant program. EPA will specify the nature of the pre-application assistance, if any, that will be available to applicants from EPA Regional Offices in the Request for Initial Proposals or Request for Applications. For EPA Regional Office contacts, see Additional Contact Information - FMR Help. This program is eligible for coverage under Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or officials designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. See Appendix 1 for additional information regarding SPOCs. If there is no single point of contact for the state, or the state has not selected this program for review, applicants must contact directly affected state area-wide regional and local entities prior to award. (See 40 CFR 29.7(b)).

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

As described in 40 CFR Part 31, Subpart F and CFR Part 30.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

Recipients of RLF grants may apply for additional funding on a non competitive basis during any year after the first year the recipient receives an RLF grant. In awarding this additional funding the Agency will consider: (I) the number of sites and number of communities that are addressed by the revolving loan fund; (II) the demand for funding by eligible entities that have not previously received an RLF grant; (III) the demonstrated ability of the eligible entity to use the revolving loan fund to enhance remediation and provide funds on a continuing basis; and (IV) Other similar factors, including the availability of funds and the recipient's performance history.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Generally, those eligible entities identified above will benefit from the brownfields grant actions. Specifically, residents and commercial organizations in brownfields grant communities will benefit from brownfields assessment, cleanup, and revitalization funding. New strategies for promoting environmental cleanup lessons from these grants will provide a growing base of information and knowledge for other communities across the country seeking partnerships with stakeholders to coordinate issues related to brownfields and leverage additional opportunities for redevelopment.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

(1) For assessment grants, an eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and up to $200,000 to address sites contaminated by petroleum. Applicants may request a waiver of the $200,000 limit up to $350,000 for sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and up to $350,000 to address sites contaminated by petroleum. Waiver requests must be based on the anticipated level of contamination, size, or ownership status of the site. These limits are mandatory under CERCLA 104(k)(4)(A). (2) For revolving loan fund grants, an eligible entity may apply for up to $1,000,000 for an initial RLF grant. Coalitions of eligible entities may apply together under one recipient for up to $1,000,000 per eligible entity. This limit is mandatory under CERCLA 104(k)(4)(A). (3) For cleanup grants, an eligible entity may apply for up to $200,000 per site. The $200,000 per site limit is mandatory under CERCLA 104(k)(3)(A). In Fiscal Year 2004, EPA anticipates limiting assessment funding to $400,000 per eligible entity unless a statutory waiver of the $200,000 per site limit is granted. The maximum amount of assessment funding available per applicant if waivers are granted is anticipated to be $700,000 per eligible entity. The Agency anticipates limiting the number of applications that it will consider for cleanup grants to five sites per eligible applicant. Applicants have to prove fee simple title ownership by the time of award and no later than September 30, 2004, to receive cleanup grants.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

FY 03 $73,100,000; FY 04 est $73,100,000; and FY 05 est $73,100,000

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

68-0103-0-1-304.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

EPA funded grants for developing inventory of brownfields sites; site assessment and site characterization; coordination of response and reuse group meetings; establishment of community involvement, public participation, environmental justice components; establishment of revolving loan funds for cleanup; and cleanup activities at brownfields sites that are owned by the grant recipients.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In FY 2003, 117 assessment grants; 66 cleanup; and 28 RLF grants.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

This is a competitive grant program. Selection criteria will be outlined in the proposal guidelines and will be based on a system that includes the following ten statutory ranking criteria: (i) The extent to which a grant will stimulate the availability of other funds for environmental assessment or remediation, and subsequent reuse, of an area in which one or more brownfield sites are located. (ii) The potential of the proposed project or the development plan for an area in which one or more brownfield sites are located to stimulate economic development of the area on completion of the cleanup. (iii) The extent to which a grant would address or facilitate the identification and reduction of threats to human health and the environment, including threats in areas in which there is a greater-than-normal incidence of diseases or conditions (including cancer, asthma, or birth defects) that may be associated with exposure to hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. (iv) The extent to which a grant would facilitate the use or reuse of existing infrastructure. (v) The extent to which a grant would facilitate the creation of, preservation of, or addition to a park, a greenway, undeveloped property, recreational property, or other property used for nonprofit purposes. (vi) The extent to which a grant would meet the needs of a community that has an inability to draw on other sources of funding for environmental remediation and subsequent redevelopment of the area in which a brownfield site is located because of the small population or low income of the community. (vii) The extent to which the applicant is eligible for funding from other sources. (viii) The extent to which a grant will further the fair distribution of funding between urban and nonurban areas. (ix) The extent to which the grant provides for involvement of the local community in the process of making decisions relating to cleanup and future use of a brownfield site. (x) The extent to which a grant would address or facilitate the identification and reduction of threats to the health or welfare of children, pregnant women, minority or low-income communities, or other sensitive populations. In addition, applicants will be required to demonstrate that site specific activities are carried out at sites that meet the definition of a Brownfields site at CERCLA 101(39).

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The performance period for brownfields assessment and cleanup grant funds is generally two years. The performance period for brownfields revolving loan fund grants is generally five years.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable for brownfield assessment grants. Under CERCLA 104(k)(9)(B)(iii) revolving loan fund and cleanup grants require a 20 percent cost share, which may be in the form of a contribution of money, labor, material, or services, and must be for eligible and allowable costs. An RLF or cleanup grant applicant may request a waiver of the 20 percent cost share requirement based on financial hardship.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

Quarterly progress reports, notification of significant development, property inventory reports, procurement reports, and financial reports may be required if authorized by 40 CFR Parts 31 and 40 CFR Part 30.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

Grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspections and audits by the Comptroller General of the United States, the EPA Office of Inspector General, other EPA staff or any authorized representative of the Federal government. Reviews by the EPA Project Officer and the Grants Specialist may occur each year. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations,? non-federal entities that expend $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-federal entities that expend less than $300,000 ($500,000 for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003) a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular No. A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

Record Retention Requirements of 40 CFR Part 31 and 40 CFR Part 30 are applicable, depending upon the identity of the recipient and the program funded.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, Sections 101(39) and 104(k), 42 U.S.C. 9601(39)and 9604(k).

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

For brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants, costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State, tribal, and local governments or A-122 for nonprofit organizations, and OMB Circular A-21 for universities. Recipients must comply with 40 CFR Part 30 (nonprofit organizations) or 40 CFR Part 31(governmental entities). The Agency will periodically publish guidance for brownfields grant proposals.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

EPA Regional Brownfields Coordinators.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Linda Garczynski, Director, Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment, OSWER, EPA, Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 566-2777.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: