[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 60 (Tuesday, March 29, 2016)]
[Pages 17543-17548]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-07045]



Federal Highway Administration

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2016-0006]

Notice of Funding Opportunity for Surface Transportation System 
Funding Alternatives Program

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity.


SUMMARY: Section 6020 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation 
(FAST) Act directs the DOT to establish the Surface Transportation 
System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program to provide grants to States 
to demonstrate user-based alternative revenue mechanisms that utilize a 
user fee structure to maintain the long-term solvency of the Federal 
Highway Trust Fund. Section 6020 provides $15 million for fiscal year 
(FY) 2016 and $20 million for each of FYs 2017-2020 out of funds set 
aside in section 6002(a)(1), which authorizes funds for the Highway 
Research and Development Program. These grants shall make up no more 
than 50 percent of total proposed project costs, with the remainder 
coming from non-Federal sources. This Notice of Funding Opportunity for 
the STSFA program seeks applications from States or groups of States.

DATES: Applications must be submitted by 3:00 p.m., e.t., on or by May 
20, 2016. The Grants.gov ``Apply'' function will open by March 29, 
2016. Applications should be submitted through http://www.grants.gov.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted through www.Grants.gov. Only 
applicants who comply with all submission requirements described in 
this notice and submit applications through www.Grants.gov will be 
eligible for award.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information concerning 
this notice, please contact the FHWA via email at [email protected]. For 
questions about the STSFA program, contact Mr. Robert Arnold, Director, 
FHWA Office of Transportation Management, telephone 202-366-1285, or 
via email at [email protected]; or Angela Jacobs, Program Manager, 
telephone 202-366-0076, or via email at [email protected]. For 
legal questions, please contact Mr. Adam Sleeter, Attorney-Advisor, 
FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, telephone 202-366-8839, or via email 
at [email protected]. Business hours for the FHWA are from 8:00 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. A 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) is available at 202-366-
3993. Additionally, the DOT will regularly post answers to questions, 
requests for clarification, and information about Webinars for further 
guidance at http://www.grants.gov/.


Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the 

[[Page 17544]]

Register's Web site at http://www.archives.gov and the Government 
Printing Office's database at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice solicits applications for the 
STSFA program for FY 2016 from States or groups of States to 
demonstrate user-based alternative revenue mechanisms that utilize a 
user fee structure to maintain the long-term solvency of the Federal 
Highway Trust Fund. Each section of this notice contains information 
and instructions relevant to the application process for STSFA grants. 
The applicant should read this notice in its entirety to submit 
eligible and competitive applications.

Table of Contents

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility Information
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review Information
F. Federal Award Administration Information
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

A. Program Description

    Section 6020 of the FAST Act (Pub. L. 114-94) directs the DOT to 
establish a program to provide grants to States or groups of States to 
demonstrate user-based alternative revenue mechanisms that utilize a 
user fee structure to maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway 
Trust Fund. This solicitation seeks applications that meet the 
following objectives:
     To test the design, acceptance, and implementation of a 
user-based alternative revenue mechanisms.
     To improve the functionality of such user-based 
alternative revenue mechanisms.
     To conduct outreach to increase public awareness regarding 
the need for alternative funding sources for surface transportation 
programs and to provide information on possible approaches.
     To provide recommendations regarding adoption and 
implementation of user-based alternative revenue mechanisms.
     To minimize the administrative cost of deploying any 
potential user-based alternative revenue mechanisms.
     Minimize the administrative costs associated with the 
collection of fees.

Though pilot projects of any size or scope may be proposed, the DOT is 
most interested in funding larger scale pilots, rather than smaller 
scale proof of concept projects, and in awarding funds to both single 
State and multi-State pilots.
    The purpose of the STSFA grants is for a State or group of States 
to test the design, acceptance, and implementation of a user-based 
alternative revenue mechanism. An application shall address or describe 
how the proposed demonstration has already addressed:
     Implementation, interoperability, public acceptance and 
potential hurdles to adoption of the demonstrated user-based 
alternative revenue mechanism. There are a number of logistical, 
technological, and societal issues that will need to be addressed in 
any alternative to the current user fee structure. These range from 
potential additional logistical burdens imposed by the mechanism to 
explaining to the public why the current gas tax is no longer a 
sustainable funding source. While some demonstrations of the 
effectiveness of alternative funding mechanisms to date have focused on 
light vehicles, the consideration of the impacts on heavy vehicles is 
also of interest.
     Privacy protection. The current system provides almost 
complete privacy protection. Any new mechanism would have to provide 
the same level of protection by design, either perceived or real, or 
employ mitigating strategies that reduce the risk to acceptable levels. 
This extends into the area of data security and access beyond the 
requirements of the user fee collection.
     Use of independent and private third party vendors. The 
use of private sector third party vendors to administer and operate a 
system could reduce such costs, off-set administrative costs by 
offering value-added services, or alleviate privacy concerns generated 
by government administration of the user fee collection process. 
However, other concerns could be raised depending on the degree of 
private sector involvement envisioned.
     Congestion mitigation impacts. To the extent market forces 
or governmental incentives under the mechanism might positively or 
negatively impact roadway congestion or be used to leverage congestion 
reduction strategies, those impacts should be addressed in the 
     Equity concerns (including impacts on differing income 
groups, various geographic areas and relative burdens on rural and 
urban drivers). The implementation of alternative user-based revenue 
mechanisms may alter the distribution of cost burdens among different 
classes of users of the transportation system relative to those imposed 
by current mechanisms for funding surface transportation. Those burdens 
could result from changes in the basis of assessing user fees (such as 
from fuel consumption to miles traveled) and from new administrative 
processes for collecting fees (such as purchasing the necessary 
technology and reporting vehicle use). Of particular concern are 
changes that could increase the relative cost burdens on economically 
disadvantaged populations who would be least able to afford such a 
change. New mechanisms could also shift the relative costs paid by 
drivers in different regions of a State, particularly between urban and 
rural areas.
     Ease of user compliance. The current collection system for 
fuel taxes (the predominant source of highway user-based fees) is 
mostly transparent to the user; does not require any additional action 
beyond fuel purchasing; and is relatively invulnerable to avoidance by 
consumers. Any new mechanism would need to carefully consider and 
evaluate how compliance can be enforced without imposing undue costs or 
other burdens on different classes of users.
     Reliability and security on the use of technology. Threats 
to the success of the mechanism can be both malicious (e.g., hacking 
attacks) and non-malicious (e.g., equipment failures). Any system 
should address the robustness of the technology and processes to 
withstand and recover from such events.
    The application for the pilot project may address:
     The flexibility and choices of user-based alternative 
revenue mechanisms, including the ability of users to select from 
various technology and payment options;
     The cost of administering the user-based alternative 
revenue mechanism; and
     The ability of the administering entity to audit and 
enforce user compliance.
    It is anticipated that up to $15 million will be awarded during FY 
2016 for these three types of proposals, with larger awards for new 
demonstration projects and extensions or enhancements of existing 
demonstration projects, and smaller awards for pre-demonstration 
activities. Projects receiving awards for pre-demonstration activities 
in FY 2016 are not guaranteed to receive future funding for 
demonstration activities.

B. Federal Award Information

    Per section 6020 of the FAST Act, the planned award type is a grant 
to a State or group of States.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    To be selected for an STSFA award, an applicant must be a State or 
group of

[[Page 17545]]

States. However, in the case of a group of States, this solicitation 
requires that a single State Department of Transportation (State DOT) 
serve as the lead agency for administering the program funding through 
the Federal-aid highway program. Another State agency or a State agency 
in a different State (if the project involves a group of States) may be 
responsible for providing day-to-day project oversight. It is expected 
that at all relevant State agencies (e.g., Departments of Motor 
Vehicles, Departments of Revenue) needed to initiate a full-scale 
deployment of the proposed revenue mechanism will be actively involved 
in the planning and operation of the demonstration.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    Cost sharing or matching is required, with the maximum Federal 
share being 50 percent of future eligible costs. Therefore, a minimum 
non-Federal cost share of 50 percent is required. Cost sharing or 
matching means the portion of project costs not paid by Federal funds. 
For a more complete definition, please see the Uniform Administrative 
Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal 
Awards at part 200, title 2, Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR 200), 
including section 200.306 on cost sharing or matching. Other Federal 
funds using the appropriate matching share may be leveraged for the 
deployment but cannot be considered as part of the STSFA matching 
funds, unless otherwise supported by statute.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address

    Applicants may obtain application forms at www.grants.gov under the 
Notice of Funding Opportunity Number cited herein. The applicant must 
complete and submit all forms included in the application package for 
this notice as contained at www.grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    The application must include the Standard Form (SF) 424 
(Application for Federal Assistance), SF 424A (Budget Information for 
Non-Construction Programs), SF 424B (Assurances for Non-Construction 
Programs), Grants.gov Lobbying Form, cover page, and the Project 
Narrative. The SFs are available online at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html. More detailed information about the 
cover page and project narrative follows.
a. Cover Page Including the Following Table

                Project name
Previously Incurred Project Cost...........  $
Future Eligible Project Cost...............  $
Total Project Cost.........................  $
STSFA Request..............................  $
Total Federal Funding (including STSFA)....  $
Are matching funds restricted to a specific  Yes/No.
 project component? If so, which one?.
State(s) in which the project is located
Is the project currently programmed in the:  Yes/No--please specify in
 Transportation Improvement Program   which plans the project is
 (TIP)                                        currently programmed.
 Statewide Transportation
 Improvement Program (STIP)
 Metropolitan Planning Organization
 (MPO) Long Range Transportation Plan
 State Long Range Transportation

b. Project Narrative
    The application must include information required for the DOT to 
determine that the project satisfies requirements described in sections 
A, B, and C and to assess the selection criteria specified in section 
E.1. To the extent practicable, applicants should provide data and 
evidence of project merits in a form that is verifiable or publicly 
available. The DOT may ask any applicant to supplement data in its 
application, but expects applications to be complete upon submission.
    The DOT recommends that the project narrative adhere to the 
following basic outline of a project description, staffing description, 
and funding description to clearly address the program requirements and 
make critical information readily apparent. In addition to a detailed 
statement of work, detailed project schedule, and detailed project 
budget, the project narrative should include a table of contents, maps, 
and graphics as appropriate to make the information easier to review. 
The DOT recommends that the project narrative be prepared with standard 
formatting preferences (i.e., a single-spaced document, using a 
standard 12-point font such as Times New Roman, with 1-inch margins). 
The project narrative may not exceed 25 pages in length, excluding 
cover pages and table of contents. The only substantive portions that 
may exceed the 25-page limit are documents to support assertions or 
conclusions made in the project narrative, or r[eacute]sum[eacute]s of 
key staff described in the project narrative. If supporting documents 
are submitted, applicants must clearly identify the relevant portion of 
the project narrative that each supporting document supports within the 
project narrative.
c. Project Description
    (1) An introduction that provides a one to two-page summary of the 
proposed technology deployment(s).
    (2) A description of the entity that will be entering into the 
agreement with FHWA including:
    (a) Membership of any partnership or entity proposed to carry out 
the deployment; and
    (b) A description of how the entity will manage the program 
including project funding

In the case of a group of States, applicants should show evidence that 
a memorandum of understanding, or other organizational mechanism can be 
executed in a reasonable timeframe after selection
    (3) A description of the geographic area or jurisdiction the 
deployment will service.
    (4) A description of any challenges in the regulatory, legislative, 
or institutional environments or other obstacles to deployment.
    (5) A schedule for conducting the demonstration and for completion 
of all proposed activities.
    (6) Criteria contained in FAST Act section 6020(d) (see section A 
``Program Description'' that explains what a pilot project shall and 
may address).
d. Organizational Information
    In addition to the forms, provide answers to the following 
organizational information questions in a pdf format:

[[Page 17546]]

    (1) Identify any exceptions to the anticipated award terms and 
conditions as contained in section F (Federal Award Administration 
Information). Identify any preexisting intellectual property that you 
anticipate using during award performance, and your position on its 
data rights during and after the award period of performance.
    (2) The use of a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System 
(DUNS) number is required on all applications for Federal grants. 
Please provide your organization's DUNS number in your budget 
    (3) A statement to indicate whether your organization has 
previously completed an A-133 Single Audit and, if so, the date that 
the last A-133 Single Audit was completed.
    (4) A statement regarding conflicts of interest. The applicant must 
disclose in writing any actual or potential personal or organizational 
conflict of interest in its application that describes in a concise 
manner all past, present or planned organizational, contractual or 
other interest(s), which may affect the applicants' ability to perform 
the proposed project in an impartial and objective manner. Actual or 
potential conflicts of interest may include but are not limited to any 
past, present or planned contractual, financial, or other 
relationships, obligations, commitments, and responsibilities, which 
may bias the applicant or affect the applicant's ability to perform the 
agreement in an impartial and objective manner. The Agreement Officer 
(AO) will review the statement(s) and may require additional relevant 
information from the applicant. All such information, and any other 
relevant information known to DOT, will be used to determine whether an 
award to the applicant may create an actual or potential conflict of 
interest. If any such conflict of interest is found to exist, the AO 
may disqualify the applicant, or determine that it is otherwise in the 
best interest of the United States to contract with the applicant and 
include appropriate provisions to mitigate or avoid such conflict in 
the agreement pursuant to 2 CFR 200.112.
    (5) A statement to indicate whether a Federal or State organization 
has audited or reviewed the applicant's accounting system, purchasing 
system, and/or property control system. If such systems have been 
reviewed, provide summary information of the audit/review results to 
include, as applicable, the summary letter or agreement, date of audit/
review, and Federal or State point of contact (POC) for such review.
    (6) Terminated Contracts. List any contract/agreement that was 
terminated for convenience of the Government within the past 3 years, 
and any contract/agreement that was terminated for default within the 
past 5 years. Briefly explain the circumstances in each instance.
    (7) The applicant is directed to review 2 CFR 170 (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title02/2cfr170_main_02.tpl), dated September 14, 2010, and Appendix A thereto, 
and acknowledge in its application that it understands the requirement, 
has the necessary processes and systems in place, and is prepared to 
fully comply with the reporting described in the term if it receives 
funding resulting from this notice. The text of Appendix A will be 
incorporated in the award document as a General Term and Condition as 
referenced under this notice's section F (Federal Award Administration 
    (8) Disclose any violations of Federal criminal law involving 
fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations. Failure to make required 
disclosures can result in any of the remedies described in 2 CFR 
200.338 (remedies for noncompliance, including suspension or 
debarment). (See also 2 CFR 180 and section 3321, title 31, United 
States Code (31 U.S.C. 3321).)
c. Funding Description
    Applications must include a breakdown of estimated costs across 
project work areas or tasks, including an identification of funding 
sources and amounts.
    Unique identifier and system for award (SAM). The applicant is 
required to: (1) Be registered in SAM before submitting its 
application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its 
application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration 
with current information while it has an active Federal award, 
application, or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency.
    The Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an 
applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique 
entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully 
complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency 
is ready to make a Federal award, it may determine that the applicant 
is not qualified and use that determination as a basis for denial.

Submission dates and times.

3. Deadline

    Applications must be submitted through www.grants.gov by 3:00 p.m., 
e.t., by May 20, 2016, which is the date and time by which the FHWA 
must receive the full and completed application, including all required 
    To submit an application through Grants.gov, applicants must:
    (a) Obtain a DUNS number;
    (b) Register with the SAM at www.sam.gov;
    (c) Create a Grants.gov username and password; and
    (d) The E-business POC at the applicant's organization must respond 
to the registration email from Grants.gov and login to authorize the 
POC as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Please note 
that there can only be one AOR per organization.
    Please note that the Grants.gov registration process usually takes 
2-4 weeks to complete and late applications that are the result of 
failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in 
a timely manner will not be considered. For information and instruction 
on each of these processes, please see instructions at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-faqs.html. If interested 
parties experience difficulties at any point during the registration or 
application process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Service 
Support Hotline at 800-518-4726, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., e.t., 
Monday through Friday.

4. Consideration of Application

    Only applicants who comply with all submission deadlines described 
in this notice and submit applications through Grants.gov will be 
eligible for award. Applicants are strongly encouraged to make 
submissions in advance of the deadline.
    Applicants interested in applying are encouraged to email 
[email protected] no later than April 22, 2016, with applicant name, State 
in which project is located, approximate total project cost, amount of 
the STSFA grant request, and a two or three-sentence project 
description. The DOT seeks this early notification of interest to 
inform its allocation of resources for application evaluations and to 
facilitate timely and efficient awards.

5. Late Applications

    Applications received after the deadline will not be considered 
except in the case of unforeseen technical difficulties outlined below.

6. Late Application Policy

    Applicants experiencing technical issues with Grants.gov that are 
beyond the applicant's control must contact [email protected] prior to the 

[[Page 17547]]

deadline with the user name of the registrant and details of the 
technical issue experienced. The applicant must provide:
    (a) Details of the technical issue experienced;
    (b) Screen capture(s) of the technical issues experienced along 
with corresponding Grants.gov grant tracking number;
    (c) The legal business name for the applicant that was provided in 
the SF 424;
    (d) The AOR name submitted in the SF 424;
    (e) The DUNS number associated with the application; and
    (f) The Grants.gov Help Desk Tracking Number.
    To ensure a fair competition of limited discretionary funds, the 
following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late submissions: 
(1) Failure to complete the registration process before the deadline; 
(2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and 
apply as posted on its Web site; (3) failure to follow all of the 
instructions in this notice; and (4) technical issues experienced with 
the applicant's computer or information technology environment. After 
DOT staff review all information submitted and validate reported 
technical issues, DOT staff will contact late applicants to approve or 
deny a request to submit a late application. If the reported technical 
issues cannot be validated, late applications will be rejected as 

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

    The DOT will evaluate applications based on the following criteria, 
which are of equal importance.
    Technical Merit Criteria:
     Alignment with program requirements.
     Reasonableness that the demonstration could lead to a 
viable alternative revenue mechanism.
     Maturity or readiness of the technology to demonstrate the 
proposed alternative revenue mechanism.
     Ability of the applicant to deploy and sustain the 
proposed demonstration.
     Scalability or portability of the proposed demonstration 
mechanism to other jurisdictions.
     Clarity, quality, and completeness of the proposal.
    Staffing Criteria:
     Degree that the Application includes a program/project 
management structure or organization that will successfully oversee the 
proposed technology deployment.
     Expertise and qualifications of key personnel for managing 
or conducting appropriate aspects of the proposed technology deployment 
through the period of performance.
    The FAST Act also requires DOT to consider geographic diversity in 
making awards. Additionally, DOT is most interested in funding larger 
scale pilots, rather than smaller scale proof of concept projects, and 
awarding funds to both single State and multi-State pilots.

2. Review and Selection Process

    The DOT will review all eligible applications received before the 
application deadline. The STSFA process consists of a technical 
evaluation phase and senior review. In the technical evaluation phase, 
teams will determine whether each project satisfies statutory 
requirements and rate how well it addresses selection criteria. The 
senior review team will consider the applications and the technical 
evaluations to determine which projects advance to the Secretary for 
consideration. Evaluations in both the technical evaluation and senior 
review team phases will place projects into rating categories, not 
assign numerical scores. The Secretary will select the projects for 
award. The DOT reserves the right to use outside expertise and/or 
contractor support to perform application evaluation. A panel of Agency 
experts will conduct a risk assessment of the applicant prior to award.
    The DOT will award the applications that are considered the most 
advantageous using the criteria cited above, subject to the results of 
an applicant's risk assessment. In addition, per Sec. 6020 (e) of the 
FAST Act, the DOT shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that grant 
recipients represent diverse geographic areas of the United States.

3. Other Information

    Prior to award, each selected applicant will be subject to a risk 
assessment required by 2 CFR 200.205. The DOT must review and consider 
any information about the applicant in the designated integrity and 
performance system that is accessible through SAM (currently the 
Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)). 
An applicant may review information in FAPIIS and comment on any 
information about itself. The DOT will consider comments by the 
applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, in making a 
judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record 
of performance under Federal awards. The DOT reserves the right to deny 
an award based on the results of the risk assessment.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notices

    Following the evaluation outlined in section E, the DOT will notify 
the selected applicants and announce the selected projects. Notice that 
an applicant has been selected as a recipient does not constitute 
approval of the application as submitted. Before the award, the DOT 
will contact the POC listed in the SF 424 to initiate negotiation of a 
project specific agreement. If the negotiations do not result in an 
acceptable submittal, the DOT reserves the right to terminate the 
negotiation and decline to fund the applicant.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    All awards will be administered pursuant to the Uniform 
Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for 
Federal Awards found in 2 CFR 200, as adopted by DOT at 2 CFR 1201. 
Applicable Federal laws, rules, and regulations set forth in 23 U.S.C. 
and 23 CFR also apply. For a list of the applicable laws, rules, 
regulations, executive orders, polices, guidelines, and requirements 
related to STSFA projects, please see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/aaa/generaltermsconditions.cfm.

3. Reporting

a. Progress Reporting on Grant Activity
    Each applicant selected for an STSFA grant must submit the Federal 
Financial Report (SF 425) on the financial condition of the project and 
its progress, and an Annual Budget Review and Program Plan to monitor 
the use of Federal funds and ensure accountability and financial 
b. Reporting of Matters Related to Integrity and Performance
    If the total value of a selected applicant's currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all 
Federal awarding agencies exceeds $10 million at any time during the 
period of performance, then the applicant must maintain the currency of 
SAM and FAPIIS information about civil, criminal, or administrative 
proceedings described in paragraph 2 of the award terms and conditions. 
This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-
417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of

[[Page 17548]]

Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity 
and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past 
performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be 
publicly available.
c. Reporting to the Secretary
    Per section 6020(h) of the FAST Act, not later than 1 year after 
the date on which the first eligible entity receives an STSFA grant, 
and each year thereafter, every recipient shall submit a report to the 
Secretary that describes:
    (1) How the demonstration activities carried out with grant funds 
meet the objectives of the STSFA program; and
    (2) Lessons learned for future deployment of alternative revenue 
mechanisms that utilize a user fee structure.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information or questions concerning this notice, please 
contact the FHWA via email at [email protected]. For questions about the 
STSFA program discussed herein, contact Mr. Robert Arnold, Director, 
FHWA Office of Transportation Management, telephone 202-366-1285, or 
via email at [email protected]. A TDD is available at 202-366-3993. 
Additionally, the DOT will regularly post answers to questions, 
requests for clarification, and information about Webinars for further 
guidance at http://www.grants.gov/.

H. Other Information

1. Public Comment

    The STSFA program is funded through FY 2020. This notice solicits 
applications for FY 2016 only. Because this is the first year 
implementing the STSFA program, FHWA invites interested parties to 
submit comments about this notice's contents, implementation choices 
within the legal bounds of the program, and suggestions for 
clarification in future STSFA solicitations. The FHWA seeks input on 
whether the information requested in applications is reasonable and 
clear and if additional merit criteria should be considered. The FHWA 
may consider the submitted comments and suggestions when developing 
subsequent STSFA notices and program guidance, but they will not affect 
the program's evaluation and selection process for FY 2016 awards. 
Applications or comments about specific projects should not be 
submitted to the docket. Any application submitted to the document will 
not be reviewed. Comments should be sent to Docket Number FHWA-2016-
0006 by July 1, 2016. To the extent practicable, FHWA will consider 
late-filed comments.

2. Protection of Confidential Business Information

    To the extent practicable, all information submitted as part of or 
in support of any application shall use publicly available data or data 
that can be made public and methodologies that are accepted by industry 
practice and standards. If the application includes information the 
applicant considers to be a trade secret or confidential commercial or 
financial information, the applicant should do the following: (1) Note 
on the front cover that the submission ``Contains Confidential Business 
Information (CBI);'' (2) mark each affected page ``CBI;'' and (3) 
highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions. The DOT protects such 
information from disclosure to the extent allowed under applicable law. 
In the event DOT receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, 
it will follow the procedures described in its FOIA regulations at 49 
CFR 7.17. Only information that is ultimately determined to be 
confidential under that procedure will be exempt from disclosure under 

    Authority:  Section 6020 of the Fixing America's Surface 
Transportation Act (FAST Act) (Pub. L. 114-94).

    Issued on: March 23, 2016.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-07045 Filed 3-28-16; 8:45 am]