[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 108 (Friday, June 5, 1998)]
[Pages 30746-30747]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-15004]

[[Page 30746]]




Notice Announcing Availability, Guidance and Evaluation Criteria 
for Sector-Based Multimedia State Cooperative Agreement Funds

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


PURPOSE: This Notice and Cooperative Agreement Guidance and Evaluation 
Criteria, announces the availability of the cooperative agreements and 
summarizes the requirements and process for States to submit proposals 
for funding. At this time EPA invites eligible States and Territories 
to submit pre-proposals no longer than 5 pages to the appropriate EPA 
Regional office and to the workgroup chair by Friday, July 10, 1998.

CONTACT: Amy Porter, 2225A, Office of Compliance, US EPA, 401 M Street 
SW, Washington, DC 20460, (202) 564-4149, [email protected].
    This information is also being made available, with additional 
details, on the Internet at http://es.epa.gov/oeca/polguid0.html. Hard 
copy of the full package, with detailed pre-proposal requirements, can 
be obtained at the address above, or through any EPA Regional Office.

Background and Purpose

    The FY 1998 EPA budget contains $1,836,000 in State cooperative 
agreement funds available for multimedia/sector-based work under 
authority of section 28 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA 
plans to fund proposals in the range of $100,000-$500,000 to address 
sector, multimedia, ecosystem, or community-based environmental 
protection (CBEP) compliance and enforcement projects which are part of 
State efforts to establish or operate programs under section 28 of 
TSCA. All projects should have an impact on improving any aspect of 
data quality, either for the area being addressed, or overall. Projects 
relating to the national priority and significant sectors as defined by 
the OECA Memoranda of Agreement with Regions, as well as multi-State 
projects addressing problems affecting adjoining States, will be given 
priority for funding. Also, any other sector or priority project 
identified by Regions in their individual MOAs will be given funding 
priority. The national priority sectors include Dry Cleaners, Primary 
Nonferrous Metals, and Petroleum Refining. The significant sectors are 
Municipalities, Industrial Organic Chemicals, Chemical Preparation, 
Iron and Basic Steel Products, Pulp Mills, Auto Service/Repair Shops, 
and Agricultural Practices.

Statutory Authority

    The funding authority for making these grants is section 28 of TSCA 
which allows ``the Administrator to make grants to States for the 
establishment and operation of programs to prevent or eliminate 
unreasonable risks within the States to health or the environment which 
are associated with a chemical substance or mixture and with respect to 
which the Administrator is unable or is unlikely to take action under 
[TSCA] for their prevention and elimination.'' The Office of Compliance 
believes that all projects that meet the criteria laid out in the 
guidance and which qualify for funding under this program will meet the 
statutory standards of TSCA section 28 because there are no multi-media 
compliance and enforcement initiatives for the types of projects being 
funded by this grant, nor are there likely to be.
    If the forthcoming Environmental Program Grants Rule has been 
promulgated at the time these grants are awarded, they will be governed 
by that Rule.


    Eligible entities include State governments and U.S. Territories. 
Eligible applicants will compete nationally for a portion of the total 
$1,836,000 allocation. The Agency intends to announce a separate call 
for proposals for Federally recognized Tribes with a different focus at 
a later date.


    The funding authority provides an avenue for cross-media 
environmental concerns. Cooperative agreements funded under this 
initiative are intended to provide eligible States and Territories the 
opportunity to try different and/or innovative approaches to multimedia 
compliance and enforcement. Proposals must address sector, multimedia, 
ecosystem, or community based environmental protection (CBEP) 
compliance assistance, monitoring or enforcement related to programs 
for the prevention or elimination of risks associated with chemical 
substances or mixtures. (For the definitions of chemical substances and 
mixtures, please refer to section 3 of TSCA, or contact EPA for further 
clarification.) Proposals should address how the project will improve 
at least one of the following aspects of data quality: accuracy, 
completeness, consistency, utility, timeliness, and/or access to 
existing data systems or those newly developed for sector-related 
projects, either for the area being addressed, or overall.
    Projects relating to the MOA national priority and significant 
sectors will be given priority for funding. Also, any other sector or 
priority project identified by Regions in their individual MOAs will be 
given the same priority for funding. Proposals for multi-State projects 
submitted by the lead State addressing problems affecting adjoining 
States, proposals for multi-year projects and multiple projects per 
State are also welcome.


    Proposals in the range of $100,000-$500,000 will be considered for 
funding. The funding authority requires that recipients provide 25% 
matching funds. In-kind contributions such as volunteer labor hours may 
be applied towards the match, provided they meet the criteria in 40 CFR 
31.24. Awards must be received by the State within two years of the 
budget allocation, but there are no time constraints on when the States 
can spend the money. States may use awards all at once or over multiple 
years, and at any time.


    Pre-proposals not longer than 5 pages, following the format 
specified in the guidance, must be submitted to EPA. The format 
includes a detailed list of proposal requirements. The pre-proposal 
process is intended to enable EPA to evaluate the proposals, request 
clarifications as needed, suggest modifications, and select States 
invited to submit a full proposal to the appropriate Region. The pre-
proposal process is designed to reduce the investment of State 
resources for those States not invited to submit a full proposal.


    (1) At this time, we are asking interested States to submit pre-
proposals of 5 pages or less to both the appropriate EPA Regional 
office and to the workgroup chair, Amy Porter, by July 10, 1998. The 
name and address of the Regional Contact can be obtained from Amy 
Porter (see CONTACT section above).
    (2) EPA will complete its analysis of the pre-proposals and request 
clarification by September 4, 1998.
    (3) Full State proposals are due to the appropriate EPA Region no 
later than November 27, 1998.

[[Page 30747]]

    (4) EPA will analyze the final State proposal to assure it is in 
concert with the evaluation criteria and any clarifications requested 
from the pre-proposal, and meet any necessary administrative 
requirements before making an award.
    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other 
required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This rule is not a 
``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Dated: May 26, 1998.
Elaine Stanley,
Director, Office of Compliance.
[FR Doc. 98-15004 Filed 6-4-98; 8:45 am]