[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 201 (Thursday, October 16, 2008)]
[Pages 61417-61418]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-24589]




State Innovation Grant Program, Notice of Availability of 
Solicitation for Proposals for 2009 Awards

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for 
Environmental Innovation (NCEI) is giving notice of the availability of 
its solicitation for proposals for the 2009 grant program to support 
innovation by state environmental regulatory agencies--the ``State 
Innovation Grant Program.''
    The solicitation is available at the Agency's State Innovation 
Grant website: http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants/solicitation2009.pdf, or may be requested from the Agency by e-mail to: 
[email protected] , telephone, or by mail. State 
principal environmental agencies, as well as regional, county, or 
municipal agencies with delegated or re-delegated authority for federal 
environmental permitting programs are eligible to receive these grants. 
In each state, each agency with one or more primary delegations for 
federal environmental permitting programs from EPA, or a re-delegated 
authority from a state agency with one or more primary delegations from 
EPA may submit one pre-proposal under this solicitation, but may appear 
on multiple team pre-proposals.
    Any agency with a re-delegated authority for a federal 
environmental permitting program from a state environmental agency must 
have that principal state environmental regulatory agency as an active 
member of the project team.

DATES: Eligible applicants will have until December 10, 2008 to respond 
with a pre-proposal, budget, and project summary. The environmental 
regulatory agencies from the fifty (50) States; Washington, DC, and 
four (4) territories were notified of the solicitation's availability 
by fax and email transmittals on October 9, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the solicitation can be downloaded from the 
Agency's Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants or may 
be requested by telephone (202-566-2186), or by e-mail ([email protected]). You can request a solicitation application 
package be sent to you by fax or by mail by contacting NCEI as 
indicated below.
    Applicants are requested to apply online using the grants.gov 
website with an electronic signature. Applicants are encouraged to 
submit their pre-proposals early. For those applicants who lack the 
technical capability to apply electronically via http://www.grants.gov, 
please contact Sherri Walker by phone at: (202) 566-2186 and / or by e-
mail to: [email protected] for alternative submission 
procedures. Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation, or 
questions concerning the solicitation should be sent to:
    State Innovation Grant Program, National Center for Environmental 
Innovation, Office of the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (MC 1807T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, 
(202) 566-2186, (202) 566-2220 FAX, [email protected] .
    For courier delivery only:
    Sherri Walker, State Innovation Grant Program, U.S. EPA, EPA West 
Building, Room 4214D, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 
    Proposal responses or questions may also be sent by fax to (202-
566-2220), addressed to the ``State Innovation Grant Program,'' or by 
e-mail to: [email protected] . We encourage e-mail 
responses. If you have questions about responding to this notice, 
please contact EPA at this e-mail address or fax number, or you may 
call Sherri Walker at 202-566-2186. EPA will acknowledge all responses 
it receives to this notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) is soliciting pre-proposals for an assistance agreement program 
(the ``State Innovation Grant Program'') in an effort to support 
innovation by State environmental regulatory agencies. In April 2002, 
EPA issued its plan for future innovation efforts, published as 
Innovating for Better Environmental Result: A Strategy to Guide the 
Next Generation of Innovation at EPA (EPA 100-R-02-002; http://www.epa.gov/innovation/pdf/strategy.pdf). This assistance agreement 
program strengthens EPA's partnership with the States by supporting 
state innovation compatible with EPA's Innovation Strategy. EPA wants 
to encourage states to build on previous experience (theirs and others) 
to undertake strategic innovation projects that promote larger-scale 
models for ``next generation'' environmental protection and promise 
better environmental outcomes and other beneficial results. EPA is 
interested in funding projects that: (i) Go beyond a single facility 

[[Page 61418]]

and provide change that is ``systems-oriented;'' (ii) provide better 
results from a program, process, or sector-wide innovation; and (iii) 
promote integrated (multi-media) environmental management with a high 
potential for transfer to other states, U.S. territories, and tribes.
    ``Innovation in permitting'' is the theme for the 2009 
solicitation. Under this theme, EPA is interested in pre-proposals 
     Support the development and implementation of state 
Environmental Results Programs (ERPs);
     Test various forms of permitting integration;
     Test ways to help facilities practicing lean manufacturing 
better address environmental permit requirements and other 
environmental and energy considerations; or
     Advance implementation of performance-based environmental 
leadership programs similar to the National Environmental Performance 
Track (PT) program, particularly including the development and 
implementation of incentives.
    EPA continues to interpret ``innovation in permitting'' broadly to 
include permitting programs, pesticide licensing programs, and other 
alternatives or supplements to permitting programs. EPA is interested 
in creative approaches for both: (1) Achieving mandatory federal and 
state standards; and (2) encouraging performance and addressing 
environmental issues above and beyond minimum requirements. EPA's focus 
on a small number of topics within this general subject area 
effectively concentrates the limited resources available for greater 
strategic impact. EPA may contemplate a very limited number of projects 
not linked to these focus areas, but otherwise related to the general 
theme of innovation in permitting, in particular as they address EPA 
regional and state environmental permitting priorities.
    This solicitation begins the seventh State Innovation Grant 
competition. To date, the program has supported projects primarily in 
three strategic focus areas: application of the Environmental Results 
Programs (ERP) model, the National Environmental Performance Track (PT) 
Program and similar state performance-based environmental leadership 
programs, and demonstrations of various types of permitting 
integration, including the integration of Environmental Management 
Systems (EMS) into permit requirements. Thirty-eight awards to States 
have been made from the six prior competitions (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 
2007, 2008). These projects awarded nearly 7.5 million dollars in 
assistance to States. Some of the projects funded previously fit into 
more than one category (e.g., combination projects of ERP with EMS, or 
ERP with PT). Among the grant projects: eighteen (18) were provided for 
development of Environmental Results Programs, eight (8) were to 
enhance performance-based Environmental Leadership Programs, nine (9) 
were related to the application of environmental management systems in 
permitting or for ``beyond-compliance'' improvement, seven (7) were 
awarded for demonstrations of other permit integration or streamlining 
approaches including two (2) for watershed-based permitting, one (1) to 
support development of an integrated regional air quality management 
plan, one (1) to test permit integration across various governmental 
levels, and one (1) was for an information technology innovation for 
the application of geographic information systems (GIS) and a web-based 
portal to a permitting process. For information on prior State 
Innovation Grant Program solicitations and awards, please see the EPA 
State Innovation Grants Web site at http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants.

    Dated: October 8, 2008.
Elizabeth Shaw,
Director, Office of Environmental Policy Innovation.
[FR Doc. E8-24589 Filed 10-15-08; 8:45 am]