[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 188 (Wednesday, September 30, 2009)]
[Pages 50206-50207]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-23630]

[[Page 50206]]




State Innovation Grant Program, Preliminary Notice for Proposals 
for 2010 Awards

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency), National 
Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) is giving preliminary notice 
of its intention to solicit pre-proposals for a 2010 grant program to 
support innovation by State environmental agencies--the ``State 
Innovation Grant Program.'' In addition, EPA is asking each State 
environmental regulatory agency to designate a point of contact 
speaking on behalf of management (in addition to the Commissioner, 
Director, or Secretary) who will be the point of contact for further 
communication about the upcoming solicitation. If your point of contact 
from previous State Innovation Grant solicitations is to be your 
contact for this year's competition, there is no need to send that 
information again, as all previously designated points of contact will 
remain on our notification list for this year's competition. EPA 
anticipates publication of a Solicitation Announcement of Federal 
Funding Opportunity on the Federal government's grants opportunities 
Web site (http://www.grants.gov) to announce the availability of the 
next solicitation within 45 days.

DATES: State environmental regulatory agencies or agencies within 
States that have received a re-delegation of authority from the 
principal State environmental regulatory agency for one or more 
environmental permitting programs will have 30 days from the date of 
this pre-announcement notice in the Federal Register publication until 
October 30, 2009 to respond with point of contact information for the 
person within the agency (in addition to Commissioner, Director, or 
Secretary) who will be designated to receive future notices about the 
State Innovation Grant competition. We will automatically transmit 
notice of availability of the solicitation to people in State agencies 
identified for previous solicitations.

ADDRESSES: We encourage e-mail responses. Information should be 
submitted in writing via e-mail to: [email protected]; 
or fax to ``State Innovation Grant Program'' at (202) 566-2220. 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. If 
you have not received an acknowledgment from EPA within three (3) days 
of the end of the notice period, please send an e-mail to: [email protected] or call Sherri Walker at (202) 566-2186. Failure 
to do so may result in your information or comments not being received 
by the deadline. EPA will respond to all questions in writing, and all 
comments, questions and responses will be posted on the EPA State 
Innovation Grant Web site at http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants. 
Potentially interested applicants are advised to monitor this Web site 
for information posted in response to questions received prior to and 
during the competition period.

    Background: Historically, the State Innovation Grant Program has 
been used to strengthen EPA's partnership with the States by supporting 
State innovation compatible with EPA's Innovation Strategy http://www.epa.gov/innovation/pdf/strategy.pdf. EPA wants to encourage states 
to build on previous experience (theirs and others) to undertake 
strategic innovation projects that promote larger-scale models with 
potential for broader use for ``next generation'' environmental 
protection that promise better environmental outcomes and other 
beneficial results. EPA is interested in funding projects that: (i) Go 
beyond a single facility experiment 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.
    Since 2002, EPA has sponsored seven State Innovation Grant Program 
competitions that asked for State project pre-proposals that supported 
the general theme of innovation in environmental permitting. We 
interpreted this theme broadly to include alternatives to permitting 
and the establishment of incentives to promote beyond compliance 
performance. To date, the program has supported projects primarily in 
three strategic focus areas: Application of the Environmental Results 
Programs (ERP) model (http://www.epa.gov/permits/erp/index.htm), the 
application of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) (http://www.epa.gov/permits/ems/index.htm) and other integration tools in 
permitting, and State performance-based environmental leadership 
programs similar to the National Environmental Performance Track (PT) 
Program. EPA's focus on a small number of topics within this general 
subject area effectively concentrated the limited resources available 
for greater strategic impact.
    Forty awards to States have been made from the seven prior 
competitions and information on those projects can be found on the EPA 
Web site at, http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants/projects.htm. 
These projects received collectively over eight million dollars in 
assistance. The assistance agreement awards for these projects were 
made to State environmental regulatory agencies and also to a 
commission within a State with a re-delegated authority to administer 
an environmental permitting program. Among the grant projects, 
including those with pending awards: twenty (20) were provided for 
development of Environmental Results Programs (ERP), eight (8) were 
related to Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and permitting, eight 
(8) were to enhance performance-based environmental leadership 
programs, two (2) were for watershed-based permitting, two (2) were for 
integrated permitting approaches, one (1) was for streamlining a storm 
water permit program using an innovation in information technology, 
applying geographic information systems (GIS) and a Web-based portal to 
a permit application and screening process, and one (1) was for 
development and implementation of a lean manufacturing and 
environmental technical assistance program to improve environmental and 
operational performance for industrial and commercial entities. Some of 
the projects funded fit into more than one category (e.g., combination 
projects of ERP with PT, or ERP with EMS). 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.
    Agencies That Are Eligible to Compete for State Innovation Grants: 
The competition will be open to all agencies with a delegated authority 
from EPA for one or more permitting programs, or a re-delegated 
authority from a principal State environmental regulatory agency for a 
Federal environmental permitting program. Again this year we will 
consider these agencies for awards providing that the principal State 
environmental regulatory agency will be an active member of the project 
team for a

[[Page 50207]]

proposal from a re-delegation agency. Agencies are encouraged to 
partner with other governmental agencies or non-governmental 
organizations within the State (or outside of their State) that have 
complementary environmental mandates or symbiotic interests (e.g., 
energy, agriculture, natural resources management, transportation, 
public health, sustainability). States are also encouraged to partner 
with other States and American Indian tribes to address cross-boundary 
issues, to encourage collaborative environmental partnering within 
industrial sectors or in certain topical areas (e.g., agriculture), and 
to create networks for peer-mentoring. EPA regrets that because of the 
limitation in available funding it is not yet able to open this 
competition to American Indian tribal environmental agencies but we 
strongly encourage tribal agencies to join with adjacent States in 
project proposals.
    Historically, EPA has supported State projects that involve 
innovation in environmental permitting (including alternatives to 
permitting) related to one of the EPA Innovation Strategy's priority 
environmental areas, or to other priority areas identified previously 
by individual States in collaboration with EPA in a formal State-EPA 
agreement such as a Performance Partnership Agreement (PPA). EPA 
anticipates continuing the theme of Innovation in Permitting in the 
2010 competition. EPA is interested in innovative projects that focus 
on priority environmental issues, such as reducing greenhouse gases 
(e.g., energy efficiency), reducing smog, restoring and maintaining 
water quality, and reducing the cost of water and wastewater 
    Projects will be much less likely to be funded through this State 
Innovation Grant if agency resources pertinent to the topic are already 
available through another EPA program. Project selections and awards 
will be subject to funding availability.
    Request for Designation of a Primary Point of Contact: EPA asks 
that each State environmental agency or other agencies within a State 
with a delegated or re-delegated authority for Federal environmental 
regulatory programs designate a primary point-of-contact who we will 
add to the EPA notification list for further announcements about the 
State Innovation Grant Program. For point of contact information, 
please provide: name, title, department and agency, street or post 
office address, city, state, zip code, telephone, fax number, and e-
mail address. If your point of contact from previous State Innovation 
Grant solicitations is to be your contact for this year's competition, 
there is no need to send that information again, as all previously 
designated points of contact will remain on our notification list for 
this year's competition. We are asking that any new name be submitted 
with the knowledge and approval of the highest levels of management 
within an Agency (Commissioner, Director, Secretary, or their deputies) 
within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register. Please submit this information to EPA by mail, fax, or e-mail 
prior to October 30, 2009 in the following manner.
    By e-mail to: [email protected]
    By fax to: State Innovation Grant Program.
    (202) 566-2220.
    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. For point-
of-contact information, please provide: name, title, department and 
agency, mailing address (street or P.O. Box), city, state, zip code, 
telephone, fax number, and e-mail address. EPA will acknowledge all 
responses it receives to this notice.
    Opportunity for Dialogue: Between now and the initiation of the 
competition with the release of the solicitation, communication between 
potential applicants and EPA is allowed. This communication may include 
helping potential applicants determine whether the applicant itself is 
eligible or if the scope of an applicant's potential project is 
suitable for funding, as well as responding to general requests for 
clarification of the notice. State agencies are encouraged to contact 
the appropriate EPA Regional innovation contact identified in the list 
below for general discussion about potential projects and their 
acceptability under an upcoming solicitation. To ensure an equal 
opportunity for all potential applicants, questions should be sent to 
NCEI. Responses to questions that come to us during the period between 
this pre-announcement and the release of the solicitation along with 
helpful resource materials will be posted on the State Innovation Grant 
Web site at http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants. The contacts for 
the EPA Regions and the EPA HQ National Center for Environmental 
Innovation are as follows:
Anne Leiby or Josh Secunda, U.S. EPA Region 1, 1 Congress Street, Suite 
1100, Boston, MA 02114-2023. (617) 918-1076 or (617) 918-1736. 
[email protected] or [email protected]. States: CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, 
VT .
Irene Boland, U.S. EPA Region 2, 290 Broadway, 26th Floor, New York, NY 
10007-1866. (212) 637-3586. [email protected]. States & Territories: 
Michael Dunn, U.S. EPA Region 3, 1650 Arch Street (3EA40), 
Philadelphia, PA 19103. (215) 814-2712. [email protected]. States: 
LaToya Miller, U.S. EPA Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, GA 
30303. (404) 562-9885. [email protected]. States: AL, FL, GA, KY, 
Marilou Martin, U.S. EPA Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, 
IL 60604-3507. (312) 353-9660. [email protected]. States: IL, IN, 
Craig Weeks, U.S. EPA Region 6, Fountain Place, Suite 1200, 1445 Ross 
Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202-2733. (214) 665-7505. [email protected]. 
States: AR, LA, NM, OK, TX.
Ashley Betts or Richard Sumpter, U.S. EPA Region 7, 901 North 5th 
Street, Kansas City, KS 66101. (913) 551-7336 or (913) 551-7661. 
[email protected] or [email protected]. States: IA, KS, MO, 
Anthony Deloach, U.S. EPA Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 
80202-1129. (303) 312-6070. [email protected]. States: CO, MT, 
Kathy Meltzer, U.S. EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street (WTR-1), San 
Francisco, CA 94105. (415) 972-3714. [email protected]. States and 
Territories: AS, AZ, CA, GU, HI, NV.
Bill Glasser, U.S. EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue (ENF-T), Seattle, 
WA 98101. (206) 553-7215. [email protected]. States: AK, ID, OR, 
    Headquarters Office: Sherri Walker, U.S. EPA (MC 1807T), National 
Center for Environmental Innovation, State Innovation Grants Program, 
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. (202) 566-2186. 
(202) 566-2220 fax.

    Dated: September 21, 2009.
David Widawsky,
Associate Office Director, National Center for Environmental 
[FR Doc. E9-23630 Filed 9-29-09; 8:45 am]