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Notice

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund, Section 104 (k); “Announcement of Proposal Deadlines for the Competition for the 2003 National Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants”

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Notice of the availability of Brownfields Grant Application Guidelines and deadlines for submissions of proposals.

SUMMARY:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin to accept proposals for the National Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants on October 24, 2002. This notice provides information on how to obtain the application guidelines. These grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). The brownfields assessment grants (each funded up to $200,000 over two years) provide funding for a grant recipient to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfield sites. The brownfields revolving loan fund grants (each funded up to $1,000,000 over five years) provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites that are owned by the subgrant recipient. The brownfields cleanup grants (each funded up to $200,000 over two years) provide funding for a grant recipient to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites that are owned by the grant recipient. (See Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 66.811; a revised CFDA number entry has been submitted for approval).

For the brownfields assessment grants, an applicant may request a waiver of the $200,000 limits and obtain funding up to $350,000 based on the anticipated level of contamination, size, or ownership status of the site. The 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 from a non-federal source. If the cost share is in the form of contribution of labor, material, or other services, it must be incurred for an eligible and allowable cost under the grant and not for ineligible costs. An applicant may request a waiver of the 20 percent cost share requirement based on hardship.

The National brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants will be awarded on a competitive basis using a two-step proposal selection process. To ensure a fair selection process, evaluation panels consisting of EPA Regional and Headquarters staff and other federal agency representatives will assess how well the proposals meet the selection criteria outlined in the application booklet, Proposal Guidelines for Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants (October 2002). Initial Proposals will be evaluated and ranked by Regional evaluation panels. EPA will determine those Initial Proposals that have the highest rankings, and then invite those applicants to prepare and submit Final Proposals, the second step in the two-part proposal process. Final Proposals will be evaluated and ranked by National Evaluation Panels. Final selections will be made by EPA senior management based upon the ranking of Final Proposals by the National Evaluation Panels. EPA decisions may also take into account other statutory and policy considerations, such as urban and non-urban distribution and other geographic factors; compliance with the statutory petroleum funding allocation; the benefits of promoting the long-term availability of funds under the RLF grants; designation as a federal Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community, or Renewal Community; population; and whether the applicant is a federally recognized Indian tribe. Applicants are encouraged to contact and, if possible, meet with EPA Regional Brownfields Contacts.

DATES:

This action is effective as of October 24, 2002. EPA expects to make up to 200 grant awards in fiscal year 2003, contingent upon the availability of funds. The application deadline for Initial Proposals for the 2003 assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants is December 16, 2002. All Initial Proposals must be postmarked by USPS or delivered at the appropriate U.S. EPA Regional Office by other means, no later than December 16, 2002, and a duplicate copy sent to U.S. EPA Headquarters. The application deadline for applicants who are invited to submit a Final Proposal is March 5, 2003. All Final Proposals must be postmarked by USPS or delivered at the appropriate U.S. EPA Regional Office by other means, no later than March 5, Start Printed Page 653492003, and a duplicate copy sent to U.S. EPA Headquarters.

ADDRESSES:

Mailing addresses for U.S. EPA Regional Offices and U.S. EPA Headquarters are provided in the Proposal Guidelines.

Obtaining Proposal Guidelines: The proposal guidelines are available via the Internet: http://www.epa.gov/​brownfields/​. Copies of the Proposal Guidelines will also be mailed upon request. Requests should be made by calling the U.S. EPA Call Center at the following numbers: Washington, DC Metro Area at 703-412-9810, Outside Washington, DC Metro at 1-800-424-9346, TDD for the Hearing Impaired at 1-800-553-7672.

In order to ensure that the Guidelines are received in time to be used in the preparation of the proposal, applicants should request a copy as soon as possible and in any event no later than seven (7) working days before the proposal due date. Applicants who request copies after that date might not receive the proposal guidelines in time to prepare and submit a responsive proposal.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The U.S.EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment, (202) 566-2777.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On January 11, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. This act amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act to authorize federal financial assistance for brownfields revitalization, including grants for assessment, cleanup, and job training.

Funding for the brownfields grants is authorized under Section 104(k) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9604(k). Eligibility for brownfields assessment and revolving loan fund grants is limited to “eligible entities” as defined in section 104(k)(1) of CERCLA. These include a General Purpose Unit of Local Government; 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; Governmental Entity Created by State Legislature; Regional council or group of general purpose units of local government; Redevelopment Agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by a state; State; Indian Tribe other than in Alaska; and Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Alaska Native Village Corporation, and Metlakatla Indian Community. Eligibility for brownfields cleanup grants is limited to “eligible entities” and nonprofits. For the purposes of the brownfields grant program, EPA will use the definition of nonprofit organizations contained in Section 4(6) of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999, Public Law 106-107. The term “nonprofit organization” means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization that is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purpose in the public interest; is not organized primarily for profit; and uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operation of the organization.

In addition, Intertribal Consortia, other than those composed of ineligible Alaskan tribes, are eligible to apply for the brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants. Coalitions of eligible governmental entities are eligible to apply for the brownfields revolving loan fund grants, but only one member of the coalition may receive a cooperative agreement.

The evaluation panels will review the proposals carefully and assess each response based on how well it addresses the criteria, briefly outlined below. There are two different types of criteria—threshold criteria and ranking criteria. Responses to the criteria will be utilized to determine whether to make an award and the amount of funds to be awarded. There is no guarantee of an award.

Assessment Grants—Initial Proposal

Threshold Criteria

A. Applicant Eligibility

B. Community Notification

C. Letter from the State or Tribal Environmental Authority

D. Description of Sites

Ranking Criteria

A. Community Need (a maximum of 40 points may be received for this criterion)

B. Leveraging of Additional Resources (a maximum of 40 points may be received for this criterion)

C. Ability to Manage Grants (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

D. Site Selection Process (a maximum of 30 points may be received for this criterion)

Revolving Loan Fund Grants—Initial Proposal

Threshold Criteria

A. Applicant Eligibility

B. Community Notification

C. Legal Authority to Manage a Revolving Loan Fund

D. Cleanup Authority and Oversight Structure

E. Cost Share

F. Letter from the State or Tribal Environmental Authority

G. Description of Sites

Ranking Criteria

A. Community Need (a maximum of 40 points may be received for this criterion)

B. Leveraging of Additional Resources (a maximum of 40 points may be received for this criterion)

C. Ability to Manage Grants/Management Structure (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

D. Description of Target Market for RLF Loans and Subgrants (a maximum of 40 points may be received for this criterion)

Cleanup Grants—Initial Proposal

Threshold Criteria

A. Applicant Eligibility

B. Community Notification

C. Description of Sites

D. Cleanup Authority and Oversight Structure

E. Cost Share

F. Letter from the State or Tribal Environmental Authority

Ranking Criteria

A. Community Need (a maximum of 40 points may be received for this criterion)

B. Leveraging of Additional Resources (a maximum of 40 points may be received for this criterion)

C. Ability to Manage Grants (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

Assessment Grants—Final Proposal (By Invitation Only)

Budget (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

Ranking Criteria

A. Sustainable Reuse of Brownfields/Development Potential (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

B. Reduction of Threats to Human Health and the Environment (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

C. Reuse of Existing Infrastructure (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion) Start Printed Page 65350

D. Greenspace/Open Space (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

E. Community Involvement (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

Revolving Loan Fund Grants—Final Proposal (By Invitation Only)

Budget (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

Ranking Criteria

A. Business Plan (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

B. Sustainable Reuse of Brownfields/Development Potential (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

C. Reduction of Threats to Human Health and the Environment (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

D. Reuse of Existing Infrastructure (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

E. Greenspace/Open Space (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

F. Community Involvement (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

Cleanup Grants—Final Proposal (By Invitation Only)

Budget (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

Ranking Criteria

A. Sustainable Reuse of Brownfields/Development Potential (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

B. Reduction of Threats to Human Health and the Environment (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

C. Reuse of Existing Infrastructure (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

D. Greenspace/Open Space (a maximum of 15 points may be received for this criterion)

E. Community Involvement (a maximum of 20 points may be received for this criterion)

EPA decisions may take into account other statutory and policy considerations, such as urban and non-urban distribution and other geographic factors; compliance with the statutory petroleum funding allocation; the benefits of promoting the long-term availability of funds under the RLF grants; designation as a federal Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community, or Renewal Community; population; and whether the applicant is a federally recognized Indian tribe.

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Dated: October 15, 2002.

Linda Garczynski,

Director, Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

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[FR Doc. 02-27126 Filed 10-23-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P