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

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).




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:​innovation/​stategrants/​solicitation2009.pdf, or may be requested from the Agency by e-mail to: , 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.


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.


Copies of the solicitation can be downloaded from the Agency's Web site at:​innovation/​stategrants or may be requested by telephone (202-566-2186), or by e-mail ( 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 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, please contact Sherri Walker by phone at: (202) 566-2186 and / or by e-mail to: 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, .

For courier delivery only:

Sherri Walker, State Innovation Grant Program, U.S. EPA, EPA West Building, Room 4214D, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20005.

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: . 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.

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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;​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 experiment Start Printed Page 61418and 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 that:

  • 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​innovation/​stategrants.

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Dated: October 8, 2008.

Elizabeth Shaw,

Director, Office of Environmental Policy Innovation.

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[FR Doc. E8-24589 Filed 10-15-08; 8:45 am]