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Notice

Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program, Formerly Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION:

Announcement of project selections.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the selection of projects to be funded under Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 appropriations for the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program (formally the Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands (ATPPL)) program, authorized by Section 3021 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users of 2005 (SAFETEA-LU) and codified in 49 U.S.C. 5320. The Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems in parks and public lands. Federal land management agencies and State, tribal and local governments acting with the consent of a Federal land management agency are eligible recipients.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Award recipients who are State, local, or tribal entities may contact the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator (See Appendix A) for grant-specific issues. Award Recipients who are a specific unit of the following Federal land management agencies should work with the contact listed below at their headquarters office to coordinate the availability of funds to that unit.

Any other Federal land management agency, as specified by 49 U.S.C. 5320(b)(2), should contact Henrika Buchanan-Smith at (202) 366-2053 for instructions regarding receiving funds. For general information about the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program, please contact Scott Faulk, Office of Program Management, Federal Transit Administration, at (202) 366-2053.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A total of $25,000,000 was appropriated for FTA's Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, and $807,660 in FY 2007 funds remain available for allocation. Of this amount, $1,250,000 has been reserved for oversight, planning, research, and technical assistance leaving $24,557,660 available for project awards. A total of 84 applicants requested $55.2 million in funding under the program, which was more than twice the amount available for projects. FTA, Department of the Start Printed Page 60400Interior (DOI), and land management agencies' representatives evaluated the project proposals based on the criteria defined in 49 U.S.C. 5320(g)(2) and detailed in the Notice of Funding Availability published on December 13, 2007.

The 52 projects selected for funding in FY 2008 are shown on Table 1 and represent a diverse set of capital and planning projects across the country, ranging from bus purchases to installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

Applying for Funds

Recipients who are State or local government entities will be required to apply for Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program funds electronically through FTA's electronic grant award and management system, TEAM. The content of these grant applications must reflect the approved proposal. (Note: Applications for the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program do not require Department of Labor Certification.) Upon grant award, payments to grantees will be made by electronic transfer to the grantee's financial institution through the Electronic Clearing House Operation (ECHO) system. Staff in FTA's Regional offices is available to assist applicants.

Recipients who are Federal land management agencies will be required to enter into an interagency agreement with FTA. FTA will administer one interagency agreement with each Federal land management agency receiving funding through the program for all of that agency's projects. Individual units of Federal land management agencies should work with the contact at their headquarters office listed above to coordinate the availability of funds to that unit.

Program Requirements

Section 5320 requires funding recipients to meet certain requirements. Requirements that reflect existing statutory and regulatory provisions can be found in the document “Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands Program: Requirements for Recipients” available at http://www.fta.dot.gov/​atppl. These requirements are incorporated into the grant agreements and inter-agency agreements used to fund the selected projects.

Pre-Award Authority

Pre-award authority allows an agency that will receive a grant or interagency agreement to incur certain project costs prior to receipt of the grant or interagency agreement and retain eligibility of the costs for subsequent reimbursement after the grant or agreement is approved. The recipient assumes all risk and is responsible for ensuring that all conditions are met to retain eligibility, including compliance with federal requirements such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), SAFETEA-LU planning requirements, and provisions established in the grant contract or Interagency Agreement. This automatic pre-award spending authority, when triggered, permits a grantee to incur costs on an eligible transit capital or planning project without prejudice to possible future Federal participation in the cost of the project or projects. Under the authority provided in 49 U.S.C. 5320(h), FTA is extending pre-award authority for FY 2008 ATTPL projects effective as of October 10, 2008 when the projects were publicly announced.

The conditions under which pre-award authority may be utilized are specified below:

a. Pre-award authority is not a legal or implied commitment that the project(s) will be approved for FTA assistance or that FTA will obligate Federal funds. Furthermore, it is not a legal or implied commitment that all items undertaken by the applicant will be eligible for inclusion in the project(s).

b. All FTA statutory, procedural, and contractual requirements must be met.

c. No action will be taken by the grantee that prejudices the legal and administrative findings that the Federal Transit Administrator must make in order to approve a project.

d. Local funds expended pursuant to this pre-award authority will be eligible for reimbursement if FTA later makes a grant or interagency agreement for the project(s). Local funds expended by the grantee prior to October 10, 2008 will not be eligible for credit toward local match or reimbursement. Furthermore, the expenditure of local funds on activities such as land acquisition, demolition, or construction, prior to the completion of the NEPA process, would compromise FTA's ability to comply with Federal environmental laws and may render the project ineligible for FTA funding.

e. When a grant for the project is subsequently awarded, the Financial Status Report, in TEAM-Web, must indicate the use of pre-award authority, and the pre-award item in the project information section of TEAM should be marked “yes.”

Reporting Requirements

All recipients must submit quarterly reports to FTA containing the following information:

(1) Narrative description of project(s); and,

(2) discussion of all budget and schedule changes.

The headquarters office for each federal land management agency should collect a quarterly report for each of the projects delineated in the interagency agreement and then send these reports (preferably by e-mail) to Scott Faulk, FTA, scott.faulk@dot.gov; 1200 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, DC 20590. Examples can be found on the program Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/​atppl. State and local governments will send this information to FTA for projects that are funded through grants to State and local governments rather than through the interagency agreement. The quarterly reports are due to FTA on the dates noted below:

QuarterCoveringDue date
1st Quarter ReportOctober 1-December 31January 31
2nd Quarter ReportJanuary 1-March 31April 30.
3rd Quarter ReportApril 1-June 30July 31.
4th Quarter ReportJuly 1-September 31October 31.

In order to allow FTA to compute aggregate program performance measures as required by the President's Management Agenda, FTA requests that all recipients of funding for capital projects under the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program submit the following information annually:

  • Annual visitation to the land unit;
  • Annual number of persons who use the alternative transportation system (ridership/usage);
  • An estimate of the number of vehicle trips mitigated based on alternative transportation system usage and the typical number of passengers per vehicle;
  • Cost per passenger; and, Start Printed Page 60401
  • A note of any special services offered for those systems with higher costs per passenger but more amenities.

State and local government entities should submit this information as part of their fourth quarter report through FTA's TEAM grants management system. Federal land management agencies should also send this information as part of their fourth quarter report. Examples can be found on the program Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/​atppl.

Oversight

Recipients of FY 2008 Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program funds will be required to certify that they will comply with all applicable Federal and FTA programmatic requirements. FTA direct grantees will complete this certification as part of the annual Certification and Assurances package, and Federal Land Management Agency recipients will complete the certification by signing the interagency agreement. This certification is the basis for oversight reviews conducted by FTA.

The Secretary of Transportation and FTA have elected not to apply the triennial review requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5307(h)(2) to Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program recipients that are other Federal agencies. Instead, working with the existing oversight systems at the Federal Land Management Agencies, FTA will perform periodic reviews of specific projects funded by the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program. These reviews will ensure that projects meet the basic statutory, administrative, and regulatory requirements as stipulated by this notice and the certification. To the extent possible, these reviews will be coordinated with other reviews of the project. FTA direct grantees of Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program funds (State, local and tribal government entities) will be subject to all applicable triennial, State management, civil rights, and other reviews.

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Issued in Washington, DC, this 6th day of October, 2008.

James S. Simpson,

Administrator.

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Appendix A—FTA Regional Offices

Region I

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Richard Doyle, FTA Regional Administrator, Kendall Square, 55 Broadway, Suite 920, Cambridge, MA 02142-1093, (617) 494-2055.

Region II

New Jersey, and New York. Brigid Hynes-Cherin, FTA Regional Administrator, One Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, NY 10004-1415, (212) 668-2170.

Region III

Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Letitia Thompson, FTA Regional Administrator, 1760 Market Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4124, (215) 656-7100.

Region IV

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virgin Islands. Yvette Taylor, FTA Regional Administrator, 230 Peachtree St., NW., Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30303, (404) 865-5600.

Region V

Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Marisol Simon, FTA Regional Administrator, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606-5232, (312) 353-2789.

Region VI

Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Robert Patrick, FTA Regional Administrator, 819 Taylor Street, Room 8A36, Ft. Worth, TX 76102, (817) 978-0550.

Region VII

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Mokhtee Ahmad, FTA Regional Administrator, 901 Locust Street, Suite 404, Kansas City, MO 64106, (816) 329-3920.

Region VIII

Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Terry Rosapep, FTA Regional Administrator, 12300 West Dakota, Suite 310, Lakewood, CO 80228-2583, (720) 963-3300.

Region IX

American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Leslie Rogers, FTA Regional Administrator, 201 Mission Street, Room 1650, San Francisco, CA 94105-1839, (415) 744-3133.

Region X

Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Richard F. Krochalis, FTA Regional Administrator, Jackson Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3142, Seattle, WA 98174-1002, (206) 220-7954.

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BILLING CODE 4910-57-P

[FR Doc. E8-24113 Filed 10-9-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-57-C